Last week, I asked you how you felt about Amazon's acquisition of Goodreads.
143 responded: 64% describe yourselves as writer and/or illustrators, 31% are teachers or librarians, 11% are editors, 6% publishers, 2% booksellers. As you can tell from the numbers, some of you wear more than one hat.
The question: Amazon and Goodreads have announced that Amazon will be acquiring the book-based social networking site. How do you feel about it?
What you said:
I posted the survey immediately after the announcement, but I suspect that if I had posted it after Laura Hazard Owen's interview with Amazon and Goodreads, less people would have voted negative. If I was voting? Not sure yet. I love the idea of being able to rate books on Goodreads from my Kindle, but one of the strengths of Goodreads (in terms of brand) was that everyone knew it was indie. This was even more important after all the controversy about Amazon culling book reviews and authors manipulating their Amazon rankings.
According to LHO's interview on Paidcontent, Amazon says that Goodreads will remain an independent subsidiary of Amazon, like IMDB. Thing is, people and sites that use IMDB don't tend to be direct competitors with Amazon. Will all those competing sites/companies be willing to continue supporting Goodreads?
I may post this survey again a year from now, to compare.
And I wouldn't be surprised if, at this very moment, there is someone out there who is working on filling the space left by the Goodreads acquisition: a book reviews site with the potential reach of Goodreads...but that is still independent.
Some comments from survey respondents:
"One of the wonderful things about GoodReads is that it was completely independent of any bookseller, publisher, author and it was reader driven. I could go there and get honest reviews and recommendations without having to worry that they were influenced by the bottom dollar. Now here's another good thing ruined by a major corporation."
"Neutrally optimistic? I don't much care, it might be a little interesting from the outside. I don't use GoodReads, though I have an account, and I use Kindle very little - no gadget and I tend to read through calibre or FBReader rather than the app."
"My worry is Amazon is already the thousand pound gorilla in this industry and readers, and especially writers, need some independent tools. Goodreads has been a reliable one of these, precisely because it isn't a direct seller, so it maintains independence. Losing this is a shame."
"People have pointed out that Amazon does not have a history of buying companies and then running them into the ground like other large companies, so I'm holding out hope for goodreads (which I just recommended to some of my students)."
"Will wait to see what changes are made. There have been a lot of complaints about issues at Goodreads. They might be fixed now, might be better or worse. BUT.. I wish esp. writers/pubs would stop the OMG the sky is falling everytime Amazon farts. If it was Apple or B&N there would have been silence. It gets really old."
"So far, they haven't ruined my fave bookstore, The Book Depository, and I was greatly afraid when they bought that. I only use Goodreads to really keep track of my reading... ...however, I'm not keen on Amazon buying just everything - that doesn't make me very happy - but it's a good excuse to gracefully bow out of Goodreads; I cannot STAND the whole Amazon rating/review things, and the crazy it inspires in authors, and if that's coming to town, I'm out."
"If I wanted to review books for Amazon I would. If I wanted Amazon to mine my data and reading habits I'd have a kindle."
"It all depends on whether Amazon changes or limits the experience."
"Cautious, sad they're only taking care of Kindles."
"They'll probably want to link everything to one profile--all my reviews and conversations. Just as they want to link my kindle! I don't want my book reviews linked to the stuff I write about vacuum cleaners or underwear. Bah."
"Best-case scenario: the acquisition will be a positive one for those who already use Amazon and have Kindles, and that it won't affect those of us who only use Goodreads at all. But I'll still be keeping an ear to the ground about possible replacements, just in case Amazon makes too many sweeping changes to what is a great site as-is."
"I don't trust Amazon. The jury is out. I'm concerned."
Also see my other Inkygirl surveys.