The inevitable has finally happened, but… it’s still something of a shock.
Online retailer Amazon has just announced it is buying book-review site ‘Goodreads’ with its 16 million members, an acquisition that clearly recognizes the massive promotional value of the Goodreads ‘social network’.
We already knew that Amazon was the 800 pound gorilla of online book stores, but when it comes to directly reaching book readers, this makes it a 10,000 pound King Kong.
Will ‘Goodreads’ Survive In Its Current Form?
There’s no question that Amazon and Goodreads are the first two places that leap to mind when a book buyer is deciding what to read next. Amazon completely dominates online sales, and Goodreads members have written over 23 million reviews.
So in hindsight, the marriage was almost inevitable.
The newly-weds aren’t wasting any time either. Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler reassured users that the Goodreads experience will continue just the same without any dramatic changes. But he did announce that Amazon will provide direct access to Goodreads reviews on the Kindle. This was confirmed by him on their website:
For all of you Kindle readers… you’ve asked us for a long time to integrate your Kindle and Goodreads experiences. Making that option a reality is one of our top priorities.”
Furthermore, in an interview with GigaOM, Chandler also says Goodreads will enable Amazon customers to pull records of their purchases directly into their Goodreads account if they wish:
We’ll make it very easy for someone to say, ‘Yeah, I’d love it if you could import all of my Amazon or Kindle purchases into my Goodreads shelf’.”
The Hidden Impact On An Author’s Book Sales
Think about this:
Every book you sell on Amazon is now likely to show up in the buyer’s Goodreads account, within easy view of 16 million readers, on an ever increasing scale, automatically. This will substantially increase the visibility of your books.
This also means that both Amazon and Goodreads deserve increasingly focused attention in your own book marketing efforts.
Ignore The Hysteria Around Amazon & Goodreads. What Really Matters Is Your Writing
Whilst riding the tossing waves of this ‘storm in a teacup’, it’s important to stay calm and remember that your writing should remain the central focus, because it will eventually transcend all of these temporarily disruptive changes.
Will Goodreads Still Link To Book Stores Other Than Amazon?
Will Goodreads remain neutral? Will other retailer ‘buy buttons’ be allowed ? In the interview quoted earlier, Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler also said that “Links to other retailers will probably stay.”
It remains to be seen exactly what this will mean, or how visible those links will be. Either way, with the acquisition of Goodreads, the Amazon universe has just expanded significantly, and maybe the light of opportunity for authors with truly good books just grew a little brighter too.
What do you think of this ‘publishing’ marriage? Great idea? Awful? Do you already use Goodreads? Do you have any tips for other authors? Please leave a comment.
Article written by Jonathan Gunson
Author / CEO Bestseller Labs
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