Amazon bought Goodreads — so?

books in a bookcase

Photo by JHorna Smidt http://www.sxc.hu/profile/jsmidt

The writerly community was abuzz yesterday after this Publisher’s Weekly story announced that Amazon has bought Goodreads.

But will anything change?

The thing that most strikes me about this is that Amazon already owns Shelfari, which basically has all the same functionality as Goodreads. A merge of the two seems likely.

I don’t spend a lot of time on Shelfari, but my impression is that Goodreads has the more active community of the two. I certainly use it more.

A merger between the two would be helpful to authors, because honestly — don’t we already have more social media networks to keep track of than is rational?

I don’t know that either (or both) of these sites actually help sell books. I suspect that, like every other form of social media, the best use isn’t in “selling” anything. It’s in being accessible and building relationships.

Which, now that I think of it, applies in the real world, too.

How about you? Do Goodreads and Shelfari influence your buying decisions? Do they help you find new readers?


About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

5 comments on “Amazon bought Goodreads — so?

  1. I enjoy the hub at Goodreads for sharing reading status and organizing what I’ve read. My biggest concern is whether Amazon will try and remove or lessen weight of author reviews.

  2. I don’t even use Shelfari, but I enjoy Goodreads. I wouldn’t say it’s a big influencer for me, though. I tend to have very different tastes than the rest of the world, so have learned not to put a lot of stock in other people’s opinions. But every now and then, I’ll see something on there that someone else posted and go “hmmm…”

  3. I really liked this guy’s response: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/why-amazons-purchase-of-goodreads-is-a-good-thing/ Goodreads hasn’t really done anything for my career, but Amazon sure has. I liked Shelfari, but it never caught on as well as Goodreads. Story of my life. LOL

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