Breaking News: Amazon to Acquire Goodreads

Amazon.comA News Bulletin
by Lynne Cantwell


Amazon has announced that it has reached agreement to acquire Goodreads. According to a news release from Amazon, the deal is expected to close within the next few months. Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s vice president for Kindle Content, and Goodreads CEO and co-founder Otis Chandler joined in making the announcement.

For now, Goodreads’ headquarters will stay in San Francisco. No other details are available right now – including how much Amazon is paying for Goodreads, and what this means for Shelfari, Amazon’s Goodreads wanna-be site.

Read the press release on Amazon.

Read the announcement on Goodreads.

Let’s do a quick IU poll on this.

The acquisition of Goodreads by Amazon is:

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Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.

29 thoughts on “Breaking News: Amazon to Acquire Goodreads”

  1. I guess this means Shelfari will bite the dust . . .Maybe Google will buy LibraryThing and Apple will scoop up Wattpad. Ahhh, corporate buyouts and the scent of greed.

    1. Aron, we had quite a discussion around the gruel cauldron in the minions’ lounge this afternoon. I think “concern” is a pretty good word for it, and maybe even an understatement — but we’ll all see how things play out. Goodreads is promising lots of “great new features”; how many of them will be beneficial to indie authors is anybody’s guess at this point.

  2. It’s the Star Trek planet eater, it really is! Sitting in the backroom talking with the trads one minute, gobbling up the independents the next, tomorrow the inter-verse; monopolisation has another name: Amazon!

    1. Smells a little funny, doesn’t it, TD? The thing that’s saved Amazon so far is that they’re not actually trying to limit trade in books. If they made a play for another bookseller, that would be one thing. But simply owning all the venues for book discussion on the Internet? RICO doesn’t say anything about that. 😉

  3. From the comments at GR on the announcement it doesn’t look like a good percentage of the active users are very happy at all about the situation.

    I really had no idea of the blazing hatred that a lot of readers have for Amazon. I’m surprised any indie e-book writer is making any money at all over there. I think perhaps we may have discovered one of the real reasons people aren’t making cash like they think authors should — people don’t want to deal with Amazon. I haven’t seen that kind of vehemence before unless people were talking about Walmart.

    I use Amazon all the time for DTB purchases though almost entirely from Amazon’s marketplace sellers.

    I don’t agree with the sentiments … brick-and-mortar booksellers and indie bookshops have been the harbingers of their own fates with their intransigence to adapting to the economics of the 21st century.

    1. I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon, too, Rich — and not just books. And I think you’re right about the fate of big-box bookstores. Other big-box stores have also been losing market share and going out of business — and in the case of some of them, like Circuit City, reinventing themselves as an Internet retailer. If it hadn’t been Amazon to figure out how to sell people stuff via the Web, it would have been somebody else.

  4. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love Amazon. I really do, but Goodreads is where I go to find “real” reviews on books. Watch. It will only take a matter of months before they enforce the same review policy on goodreads that they have on Amazon–as in, you can only review books you buy on their site. *angry face*

    1. I hope you’re wrong, Crystal. I agree with you that one of the things that makes Goodreads so beneficial for authors is that readers can post reviews there, no matter where they bought your book. The founder of Goodreads posted last night that their review policies won’t change. I hope he’s right.

  5. Like we didn’t see this coming since the big debacle about Amazon clickability on Goodreads early last year. It will affect quality of reviews and the way they are administered, but not for a while yet. In any case – there is a big picture erosion of Western-style review processes (including academic peer review traditions) taking place right under our noses.

    1. Rosanne, a lot of the Goodreads members with librarian status are very upset about this. They put in a lot of unpaid hours to rebuild the GR catalog after Amazon’s data was yanked from the site, and a lot of them now wonder why they bothered.

  6. Bad bad bad! What’s going to happen to the GR reviews that currently show up on Kobo? I’ve actually been selling on Kobo (5 books a month, but hey!), and now this! 🙁

  7. When one megacorps is the main conduit for publication, and for all practical purposes an author has to be part of their “family”, does that make the term “independent author” delusional?

    1. Of course not, Timothy – to be completely independent does not mean total isolation. Even nations must belong to some group. It is impossible to publish anything without support systems, unless you print stuff out at home, staple it and hand it out to random souls. Even EM Forster relied on Virginia and Leonard Woolf to publish his stuff. He was not delusional – without their support we’d never have his amazing novels.

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