Amazon buy Goodreads. In a move that seemed to surprise some, Amazon bought the indie book site Goodreads on April 2nd. To some, the buyout came as a shock; to others, it was a positive. There are no details released as of yet on the acquisition terms but the entire process will close in the second quarter of the year.

 

Goodreads was founded in 2007 as a social site for users to share what they are currently reading, what they’d like to read in the future, and to rate various novels, comic books and other publications. It also brings authors to readers, letting them interact with their fanbase and post blog posts, updates, and answer questions and comment on reviews. It has created a social network of 16 million members, with four books a second added to people’s “want to read” shelves in the past 3 months.  Updates can be spread to other social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. It also generates recommendations based on past reads and reviews.

 

On the other hand, Amazon is an online leader in ebook sales, something that goes hand in hand with Goodreads due to their internet presence as well as Kindle app that lets readers access it on their tablet. Amazon also allows authors to sign up and be in contact with readers, so it makes sense that they would buy out Goodreads which has a very similar business model.

 

Goodreads co-founder Otis Chandler has reassured his members that Goodreads will not change their fundamental experience and that it won’t hurt or change the community aspect

 

Instead, the acquisition could lead to even more members being brought to Goodreads through Amazon and possible pushing readers to Amazon to buy books they have on their “want to read” lists.

 

Some authors seemed to be against the idea, with concerns of it building a monopoly. The Authors’ Guild called the acquisition a “truly devastating act of vertical integration,” citing that the biggest issue here is that Amazon is creating an internet monopoly, instead of Goodreads developing on its own and possibly becoming a rival book selling site. They also fear that Amazon won’t be 100% uninvolved and that they will change the community and the site.

 

On the other hand, there are authors who do support the decision and are excited about the prospect of bringing Amazon’s selling know how to a big community like Goodreads. Authors like Hugh Howey believe that there won’t be any surface changes and everything will be mostly behind the scenes.

 

When any changes will be implemented is yet to be seen, but for every day users of Goodreads, it’ll be interesting to see if they notice any changes or if it is as Amazon promises, a mostly hands-off acquisition. For authors, it will be interesting to see who stays and who leaves. In the end, this could mean a huge increase in Goodreads users, though, which will make leaving not a very likely prospect for most authors. It could become the biggest online book community to date with Amazon’s power behind it.