Amazon Buys Goodreads

Not sure about this Amazon-Goodreads things.

Full disclosure: I don’t do much on Goodreads. I had an account some time back (well, I still have the account, but I don’t use it) and quickly realized that spending tons of time on an Internet forum talking about books and other things that interested me was pretty much my kryptonite. Goodreads is like Reddit. Way too easy to get sucked into. So I logged out and haven’t gone back, not because I don’t like it, but because I am way too easily distracted and this is the best I can get to enforced self-discipline.

With that said, I think it’s a valuable tool for authors and readers, and just a fun place to hang out.

And now Amazon has eaten it.

I happen to love Amazon. Not just because the bulk of my sales come from them, but because they’ve just plain been good to me. I ordered books off them when they first came into being. When they opened their music store, it was the only way I could have gotten my hands on Armageddon: The Score by Trevor Rabin, still one of my favorite soundtracks. It came out in 1998 or 1999; don’t remember which, but Amazon carried it, and I played it so often in my Discman (and later, my car) that I am pretty sure I wore out the CD.

From there, it’s been a steady stream of awesomeness for me, the consumer. Print books, ebooks, CDs, MP3s, movies, the occasional poster and beauty product. And now I can make a little money off them through my books. Hey, I heart Amazon.

With that said, I do see them buying up other companies and yes, it makes me nervous.

I also wonder what this is going to do to Goodreads as the supposed Bastion of Book-Reviewing Neutrality. Amazon’s been dealing with the issue of sock puppets and fake reviews for quite some time; how is this going to spill over into Goodreads? Maybe it won’t, but this is certainly something regular users should be wondering about.

It could be an outstanding opportunity for writers (including indies) to get noticed, but I do feel a little sad that yet another independent company has been bought out by a bigger one. Yeah, yeah, capitalism and all, but it gets tiresome.

Anyway, I’ll be watching the AG union with great interest. Here’s hoping it works out for everyone.


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