by guest, top reviewer and Goodreads expert, Naomi Blackburn.
Gotta say, I was a bit surprised to get a notice from Goodreads last week that it had been acquired by Amazon. Let me say that again…Amazon purchased Goodreads.
I’ll be honest with the readers of this post: I was not happy with this announcement. I love Goodreads. Seriously, I love Goodreads! I am on there daily, have several groups and am a Goodreads librarian to do what I can do to make it an even better place. For those of you who enjoy reading my guest posts or my spotlight series among other areas of my writing, you can thank Goodreads for connecting me to some really rockin’ authors.
It isn’t because I don’t love Amazon either, because, in fact, I do. I have had a Prime membership for a couple of years now. I purchase 95% of my books from Amazon. The purchasing of household related things frequently is done through Amazon and I have yet to be unhappy with the purchasing process.
Why my unhappiness then? Several reasons:
1) I have always considered Goodreads to be a neutral zone. It was a place to discuss books, track books and, much to the dismay of my “to be read” list, to add books. Their job was not to tell people how/where to purchase their books, but more simply, offered authors and publishers a platform to market their works and readers a chance to find new books, connect with authors and/or other readers just as addicted to books as they are.
2) I am someone who reads a better chunk of my books that I am reviewing on my Nook. How will this be addressed? The rumor mills making their way around Goodreads are saying that Goodreads accounts will be connected with Amazon. What if a person doesn’t use Amazon or prefers to purchase their books from an alternative source…will they still be required to have an Amazon account?
3) There are numerous other options for readers to purchase their books, such as Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, among others. Goodreads currently includes these sites in the book’s page with a best price option. I can’t see this continuing to happen with the Amazon acquisition. It would go against the grain on any for-profit company needing to make a profit from an acquisition. I can’t see Amazon making this purchase for the love of books. So, in other words, it is yet another way for Amazon to “market” their Kindle and book lines without being in said purchaser’s “face.”
There is just something about this whole acquisition that reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Fierce Creatures, which stars John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline. In the movie, Kevin Kline’s father, a corporate mogul who goes around purchasing underperforming companies, decides to buy a zoo, but unless it turns a profit, will close the zoo. Kevin Kline, basically a screw-up who is desperate to get his father’s approval, decides to sell advertisement spots in numerous areas of the zoo, including on animals.
Fierce Creatures-Miss Piggy’s Zebras Fierce Creatures-The Bruce Springsteen Turtle
On a final note, I have faith in these two dynamic companies that they will figure out a way to keep Goodreads the awesome place it is to hang out. I just hope I am not giving away my faith too quickly!
What do you think? Share your thoughts or ask Naomi your questions now!
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Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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