Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Amazon Buys Goodreads

Big news from the world of books yesterday: Amazon Buys Goodreads.

Surprised? No need to be. Companies buy things all the time. And, before you freak and think, “My Goodreads has been poisoned!” keep in mind that this happens all the time in the business world. Everybody owns something else, or is owned by something else. Well, maybe not everybody, but there are some surprises out there if you dig around the ownership files of what seem to be independent businesses.

The big question is all of this is, “Will anything change?” There’s no reason to believe the acquisition of Goodreads will change how I do business with Amazon at all. If you’re a Goodreads user, which I am not, the questions are larger. Can Amazon maintain it as an independent entity? Do they want to? The one comment I saw on Absolute Write that intrigued me the most was this: “I’m not that comfortable with the idea that someone just handed over a big list of books I want to someone who wants to sell them to me.”

This is no doubt a sound business decision for Amazon. What it will mean for readers and writers remains to be seen. What do you all think?

9 Responses

  1. It's all part of Amazon's secret spy mission to know what I read and what I don't!!! Really, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm sure the first thing they'll do is make it really easy to link to their site to buy that book you just put on your TBR list. Good for authors I suppose. 🙂

  2. I wonder how it will affect reviews. As far as I know, Amazon pulls reader reviews if people posted them on other sites. Will they allow them to appear on both their site and GR now?

  3. Amazon's been playing funny with reviews for quite a while, from what I understand. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

  4. I'm cautious, but not freaking out like many. Wait, watch and see.

    It will certainly be good for authors to have reviews automatically synced, and very helpful to have the option to purchase books straight from the Goodreads site.

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