Monday, April 1, 2013

Musing Monday...The Galactic Empire of Amazon




 

 Monday is upon us once again, so let's look at the questions at Should Be Reading...



Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


OK, a book industry rant this week.
Did you read about it?
I saw it in Friday's Shelf Awareness Pro and I must say, as a reader, as a book purchaser, I found it a little concerning. Rather sad.
Amazon is buying the popular book-focused social networking site Goodreads, which was founded in 2007 and now has more than 16 million members. The acquisition is expected to close by July.
I am a member of Goodreads and have been for years. But to tell you the truth, I no longer use it very much, much preferring the set up at Library Thing. But don't worry, LT has already, at least partially, been gobbled up by Amazon as well. 
The move also adds to the sense that Amazon is slowly buying up much of the book world. Over some 15 years, the company has bought AbeBooks.com, Audible.com, Brilliance Audio, the Book Depository, Shelfari, BookFinder.com, Lexcycle, BookSurge, CreateSpace, Mobipocket.com and (through AbeBooks) 40% of Library Thing.
I knew about Shelfari but Audible and the Book Depository and AbeBooks and all those others as well? Wow.

I like Amazon. I use Amazon. I buy stuff from Amazon.
But...do I want them to become such a huge force in the book world? They sell books, a LOT of books, they publish books, they are by far the biggest review site. They do it all.
NO! I do not want any one company to take such an overwhelming role.

Look, we all know that you have to take the reviews on Amazon with a grain of salt. Authors, publishers, companies hired by authors and publishers, stack these reviews. We have talked about that before. But I thought I was able to trust, at least to a larger degree, what I read on a site like Goodreads. You had to be a member. I could check out your books and if you had only one, this one your were reviewing, OK, that would be a bad sign. Bottom line...
The question is how a site that was prized for its independence and noncommercial cred will fare as a part of the Amazon empire.
Is Amazon going to use Goodreads in a negative way somehow, peppered with Amazon ads, Amazon 'recommendations', everything funneling us to an Amazon site? Well, there is some reason they spent a great deal of money to buy it, and I can't see even one that will be beneficial to those who have been using the site.
I guess we will see what happens, if some bad signs start to pop up. Personally, I am closing my Goodreads account and will just stick with Library Thing for now. 40% is better than 100% and Library Thing is about the best site that I know about at this point. LT is very open about what they do, how things are run and I have seen no change in that way of doing business since the AbeBooks/Amazon buy out.

Oh my, are those Galactic Stormtroopers I see coming done the road?
Ok, maybe not just yet, but keep your eyes open..lol



11 comments:

  1. I was rather disappointed when I read about the buy too. I think I have an account on Library thing from years ago that I never used, but I use my goodreads account almost daily. I like to use the challenge and I like to keep track of my reading that way. I will be watching as well I am so tired of "the man" gobbling up all the independent sites.

    Here is my musing for this week : http://icewarmth.com/musing-monday-4113/

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  2. Amazon is quickly maneuvering itself to be the only name in books and we all know that a monopoly on anything is generally bad for the economy. Smaller book sellers can’t compete and Amazon is free to do whatever it wants. I know more than a few book bloggers have deleted their Goodreads account already. For me, I find the buy incredible insulting but I’ll keep my Goodreads account until I see how Amazon handles its new acquisition. If they are smart, they won’t change much.

    Happy Monday!
    Patricia @ Lady with Books

    Visit my MM.

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    Replies
    1. Somehow they want to make money from this buy..
      And I must say, I lke the idea of drives of readers leaving..

      Delete
  3. I prefer to wait and see what actually happens with Goodreads afterwards...and I'm not closing my account. Yes, it is a bit daunting to see Amazon "taking over" the book world, but if I can't change it, I don't want to fret about it.

    Here's MY MUSING MONDAYS POST

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I fret about many things...lol

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  4. I'm with you! I was bummed by Amazon's grasping.

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  5. Yeah, this is upsetting. I really like the stats GoodReads provides but I'm thinking of shutting my account down.

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  6. A lot of my books I buy through book depository and I didn't know Amazon owned it. I also buy directly from Amazon, but much less. Personally I don't think any monopoly is beneficial to consumers or industry. I'll be keeping Goodreads for now but we will see ... It's highly disappointing news really. Here's my somewhat frivolous in comparison musing: http://daystarz.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/author-binge-ing/

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    Replies
    1. I was surprised by how many of these companies are owned by Amazon. They seem to keep it rather quiet....

      Delete
  7. A lot of my books I buy through book depository and I didn't know Amazon owned it. I also buy directly from Amazon, but much less. Personally I don't think any monopoly is beneficial to consumers or industry. I'll be keeping Goodreads for now but we will see ... It's highly disappointing news really. Here's my somewhat frivolous in comparison musing: http://daystarz.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/author-binge-ing/

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  8. I knew Amazon already owned Shelfari (which is the weakest of the three -- LT, GR and Shelfari). I'm hoping they just let it be what it is and don't mess with it. Why buy something and make it less like what people want?

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please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!