Has everyone heard? Amazon and Goodreads have gotten married! Er, well, is it good news or bad news? For some people it’s good, for some it’s bad, for others it’s in between, and for more, it can all go one way or the other.
What people do you ask? Readers, book bloggers, publishers, other retailers, and authors–so basically everyone in the book loving community. Any concerns whatsoever are not necessarily unfounded.
As of late, Amazon has done some things to all parties involved over time. Generally some things are really great, and others not so great. The removal of tags and like buttons, as well as some categories disappearing from Amazon have hurt everyone, not just authors. It makes readers have a harder time discovering new authors, especially when Amazon has become the giant slush pile that readers must cipher through–just to name a few.
Just like any big corporation, Amazon doesn’t really relate to the real world or where normal people hang out. When big corporations come, they bring with them their rules and their red tape that can put a damper on anyone’s parade. they just don’t seem to “get” how normal people function on a daily basis.
So where do I fall into this with my sentiment? Probably in the latter two categories: I have mixed feelings and things can go well or badly.
Here are a couple articles for you to check out about the debate. I have seen others’ opinions in some of my groups and I have heard a bit from readers and book bloggers and not just authors.
From these articles anyone can see the pros and cons in general of the partnership and any certain turn of the tide can make things go well or badly for other parties involved.
I agree that Goodreads is the best and easiest to use book social media site. I have met more people and found more tools and shared more intel on this site than Librarything or Shelfari by themselves or combined. Goodreads’ “word of mouth” tools are the best hands down, and their free author program is top notch, so you don’t have to spam discussion forums to get noticed (which I don’t recommend anywhere, BTW). Goodreads also makes it easier for authors and readers to offer and look for books at other retailers in one place.
Amazon is without a doubt the best online bookseller. Anyone who has more than one retailer will definitely say they sell more books on Amazon than any other–generally.
Goodreads has social game, and Amazon seller game.
Many blog tour companies such as Orangeberry combine the inner tools of both Goodreads and Amazon for their events and tours in addition to what the bloggers and authors do themselves.
Good things could happen if they merged together without messing up what each other has and enhance what they could share, but like I said, big corporations don’t live in the real world. It’s all up to what Amazon does and what Goodreads allows them to get away with.
Like users have mentioned in the articles: “Will Amazon Kill the Goodreads social experience? Amazon has already done it to Shelfari, and partially to Librarything…” Is this why I have found these two latter sites to be not-so-user friendly and a little quirky? Regardless, I am on them anyway and they have tools that I can still use. It’s another way to find readers even though I don’t find as many. I kind of wondered this during my first journeys in the bush…
Will what happened within the Amazon discussion forums be implemented to Goodreads? Well, the sock puppets kind of helped with that, too. Since then the authors have their own corner to have a concert. If any readers come by it’s by chance, so it’s just best to do marketing and promotion outside of Amazon. One of those places is Goodreads by ads, book giveaways, book tours, and events. Will all that be shot down?
Reviewers and book bloggers are concerned about what will happen to their book reviews. Will they be policed and their time wasted if they are taken down? These people work hard just because they love books and the authors who write them.
Will other retailers such as Kobo be cut out of the equation? Will Amazon monopolize Goodreads?
Will readers be all herded to Amazon? Will it be harder for them to make a choice where they would like to buy said book or leave a review?
Authors and publishers need the book bloggers, reviewers, and retailers to help reach the readers that are there. Will there be kinks or clogs in the pipeline now? That all depends. So as of right now everyone is holding their breath and waiting to see what pans out.
I am definitely waiting to see what happens, although I am very seriously considering removing all my reviews, and just using star ratings to post and compare my reads with others. I don’t buy a lot of books, so if they do replace all the B&N/Kobo/etc links with Amazon only… well, I don’t like it on principle, but it wouldn’t actually affect me. I’m not sure what it would take for me to delete my account completely, but I’d say it’s a pretty slim chance (though you never know).
AK Taylor says
You are basically feeling what everyone else is feeling. That’s the sentiment that other reviewers are feeling too. If you leave your star rating on GR and still keep your reviews on your blog that will still be helpful. Everyone will just need to adjust their marketing and sharing strategies no matter what happens. Here’s another article I found today: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/the-future-of-goodreads-under-amazon-ownership/?et_mid=610276&rid=3097445