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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/28/amazon-acquires-goodreads_n_2974572.html

As one of the most contentious couples to ever emerge from the literature world, Amazon and Goodreads are joining forces. "We're looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally," Goodreads CEO and co-founder Otis Chandler said in a statement earlier today.

Amazon, the world's biggest online retailer, recently acquired book recommendations hub Goodreads in a gesture delighting some book lovers and angering many online followers. "I just found out my two favorite people are getting married," author Hugh Howey said of the big news in a statement. However, Twitter is aflame with negative reactions to the takeover.

Following the merger Goodreads will keep its headquarters in San Francisco, while Amazon will remain based in Seattle. According to the Associated Press, financial details of the deal remain a mystery.


I have mixed opinions on this - but I sincerely hope that Goodreads can help Amazon improve it's book recommendation algorithms. They are out of date and almost useless. Just because I bought a book by author A, that doesn't mean you should now recommend every other book by that author or every book in that genre regardless of theme.

What d'ya think? Will this be a good thing for both sites? More importantly, will this have a long term effect on how you choose your next book to read?
 

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I've had no interest in GoodReads to date.  Only joined Shelfari because it was possible to automatically upload Amazon purchases.  I don't use it for anything 'social' though. . . .more or less just a database.  And I'm not great at keeping that up.  I joined because I was hoping it would consolidate the 3 different lists on Amazon that all do 3 different things. Sadly it did not: when I imported Amazon content to Shelfari, it did NOT import my ratings from the kindle.amazon.com page. 

The ONLY thing I really want to know is if I've read the book or not. I read a book on Kindle.  At the end, I give it a rating and share it on FB.  THAT'S how I know I've read it; on Amazon the kindle.amazon.com site reflects that I've rated it, as does the 'your collection' setting.  But it's NOT reflected in the basic book listing on MYK. And not reflected on Shelfari unless I go change it.

PLUS, I have to periodically re-import from Amazon -- it doesn't automatically add books as I purchase. 

Bottom line: I don't think it'll make much difference to me -- unless they do start getting the various disparate elements to work together better.  In which case I'll consider joining GR.  I think it's likely they'll try to integrate the two into one -- Shelfari and GR that is.  If that happens I guess I'll become a GR member by default. :)
 

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I mainly enjoy Goodreads for its Forums, and for the ability to barcode scan physical books into my library on there... So as long as this news doesn't alter either of those two things, it won't affect me personally.

Whether overall it's good that a single power has such a 'strong' presence in the industry is another matter...
 

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If it means Goodreads improves their website, then yeah.  I liked parts of Shelfari's interface better but never cared for their increasingly *forced* public aspects of your profile and collection.  I've always just used Goodreads for tracking books I've read, and want to read.  Simple things like saying I've finished reading a book, rating it, then picking a new book from my to read shelf and moving it to my currently reading shelf - seriously cumbersome.  It's like an early 90's website.  Click, wait, click, submit, wait, click, click, submit, etc. etc. all just to say I'm done with this book, pick one off the other pile and start reading it.  Should be much much easier.

If the Kindle 'I'm finished' mechanism tied directly into Goodreads as well as things like the to-read being on the wish list, being able to say from the kindle I've started reading something (I wouldn't want it to mark something as me reading it just because I opened it and scanned a few pages).
 

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If it means improvements for GoodReads and/or Amazon, I have no real issues. If it means retailers other than Amazon will be shut out of GoodReads (links to online stores, etc.), then I have a problem with it, and -- in my admittedly relatively uneducated opinion on the subject -- I would think that should be taken into consideration by the FTC or whoever it is that approves such transactions.
 

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James Everington said:
I mainly enjoy Goodreads for its Forums, and for the ability to barcode scan physical books into my library on there... So as long as this news doesn't alter either of those two things, it won't affect me personally.

Me too, but if they put links to the books on Kindle, and of course they will, that will help me to buy easily. That's fine with me.
 

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I think they will benefit from each other, and personally I'm all for it. As an author, I feel like I have a closer connection to readers and other authors through Goodreads. However, the purchase links at Goodreads are poor and easily overlooked. It took me a longer time than it should have to figure out how to buy a book I'd come across on Goodreads.
 

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jeffaaronmiller said:
I think they will benefit from each other, and personally I'm all for it. As an author, I feel like I have a closer connection to readers and other authors through Goodreads. However, the purchase links at Goodreads are poor and easily overlooked. It took me a longer time than it should have to figure out how to buy a book I'd come across on Goodreads.
Well, GR is not a retailer and if it was a difficult to find edition, that's not really GR's fault. In fact, with Amazon now having full control of GR's database, we may find that any edition not available on Amazon won't be listed on GR anymore. It will no longer be a database of any and all editions but just a database of what's on Amazon. And even if it's listed on amazon, if its not in stock, you may still have difficulty finding it because an Amazon company like GR aren't exactly going to point you to another retailer. So in my opinion, this is only going to make it more difficult to find books unless you only ever buy from Amazon. Nook and Kobo users will likely abandon GR...and anyone who doesn't have an Amazon account. The great community you talk about may very well fall apart.
 

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The whole thing really worries me specifically for indie authors/publishers. I'm afraid the percentages of sales from smashwords/bookbaby/etc will go even lower. Amazon cornering the market for digital distribution even further what could that mean for authors and royalties?
 
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