By Hannah Johnson
Amazon.com announced on Thursday that it would acquire Goodreads, a social networking site for readers and book recommendations. With 16 million members and 23 million book reviews on the site, Goodreads is hub for avid readers and one of the leading sites where publishers promote books.
Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler appears regularly at publishing conferences to present data on how Goodreads users share, recommend and buy books. With a limited number of sources for focused data like this, Chandler’s willingness to share this valuable data is a boon to many book marketers and publicists.
It’s safe to assume that Amazon.com also gathers a lot of data about book buyers, though the online retailer has been reluctant to share much of it with publishers. Following the acquisition, will Goodreads become subject to Amazon’s tight-lipped policy?
Moments after the news broke, Twitter erupted with reactions from publishing folks, readers and authors:
@goodreads ach- I preferred you as independent pathbreakers- what happened to the revolution?
— Janette Currie (@BookRambler) March 28, 2013
So who’s going to build a new, not-Amazon version of Goodreads?
— Michael Bourret (@MichaelBourret) March 28, 2013
Good question! @stevehimmer wonders “if authors will be banished from reviewing books at Goodreads. “
— Ron Hogan (@RonHogan) March 28, 2013
You also have to consider this: Amazon will now have a solid way of getting ad revenue. Expect ad rates to go up on Goodreads.
— Kathleen Schmidt (@Bookgirl96) March 28, 2013
Say hello to a world in which Amazon targets you based on your Goodreads reviews. No company should have this power. is.gd/utALJM
— Edward Champion (@drmabuse) March 28, 2013
@redsofaliterary Otis, Elizabeth and everyone at Goodreads have worked their tails off. They deserve their success.
— Kevin Smokler (@Weegee) March 28, 2013
Awful, awful. I live on Goodreads. Its major plus is no buying links & an impartiality. Not a commercial space but a personal one. Sigh.
— Emily Noto (@notoed) March 28, 2013
Goodreads was probably making a lot of money from Amazon (and Audible) affiliate links, right? This is like buying your ad agency
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) March 28, 2013
— Isla McKetta, MFA (@islaisreading) March 28, 2013
Goodreads: “We plan to continue offering you everything that you love … your reviews & ratings will remain” mbist.ro/YJwi5g
— GalleyCat (@GalleyCat) March 28, 2013
Yep, Amazon has bought Goodreads. I really enjoyed the data insights they used to showcase at conferences. That’ll be stopped, for sure.
— Andrew Losowsky (@twitsplosion) March 28, 2013
Can Goodreads remain a neutral hub for readers now that it’s part of Amazon? paidcontent.org/2013/03/28/ama…
— ernie sander (@erniesander) March 28, 2013
The thing is, Amazon buying Goodreads makes SO MUCH SENSE. It’s dickish, but smart. If B&N thought of it first, we’d be congratulating them.
— Sarah LaPolla (@sarahlapolla) March 28, 2013
Continue to follow the Twitter deluge about the Amazon-Goodreads acquisition here.
Read the press release from Amazon below:
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar. 28, 2013– Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, a leading site for readers and book recommendations that helps people find and share books they love.
“Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content. “Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.”
“Books – and the stories and ideas captured inside them – are part of our social fabric,” said Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO and co-founder. “People love to talk about ideas and share their passion for the stories they read. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and Kindle. We’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world. We’re looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally.”
“I just found out my two favorite people are getting married,” said Hugh Howey, best-selling author of WOOL. “The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books – To Be Read piles everywhere must be groaning in anticipation.”
Following the acquisition, Goodreads’s headquarters will remain in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 2007, Goodreads now has more than 16 million members and there are more than 30,000 books clubs on the Goodreads site. Over just the past 90 days, Goodreads members have added more than four books per second to the “want to read” shelves on Goodreads.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.