With people leaving goodreads...

It seems like time to revist that idea of a genre split forum for weblit. Actually, if it were an independant forum for all kinds of writing, both books and weblit, I could see it pulling a bunch of traffic from the people not happy with the Amazon purchase.

I'll say it right here. I'm willing to host it and front the money for a domain purchase and years hosting. We just need someone who can build it...

It seems to me to be jumping the gun for anybody to react in any way to the Amazon purchase of Goodreads.

As for weblit forums, aren't we on one now?


Yeah, are people dashing to escape Goodreads already? I only got approved as an "author" a couple of days ago, dammit. I don't see much point in vacating the place unless Amazon actually start ruining it. I've got a decent backlog of data built up there.

Within the group comments as well as the blog post comments several people have floated other alternatives. Librarything is one but is really more for the people who use GR for cataloging. The community aspects (groups) I don't think can be picked up by any other forum board or existing reading site. They're not seamlessly integrated into twitter/facebook like GR is... and given that Goodreads has a "look at me" dynamic (authors and reviewers), I can't imagine how any of the

"alternatives" that get blogged about can possibly satisfy that prevailing dynamic.

Meh about what some of the others pose as alternatives... and really the biggest issue for me is none are big enough to even attract most reviewers and/or authors.



Huh, okay well I've obviously missed some of this story. Why are people particularly unhappy with Amazon buying Goodreads?

Personally I suspect it's basically fear that Amazon will change it in some way they don't like. It's also probably fear that combining a person's Amazon and Goodreads information will allow Amazon to do/know bad things.

I'm waiting to see what actually happens as a result before deciding whether it's a good or bad thing.

Yeah, there are people (especially in traditional publishing) who think Amazon is Evil Incarnate, and they see anything and everything Amazon does as a sign of the coming apocalypse. They usually predict that Amazon will make the same boneheaded moves that its competitors make -- which Amazon never does.


Frankly I find the posts from authors and publishers on GR annoying. THey see GR as a place to market their books and sell them. Of course Amazon's entry is going to polarize them along existing camps.

That said, from a community angle I think there's a tremendous problem that is being ignored by all these industry bloggers. I've been following the community responses at the main blog (http://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/413-exciting-news-about-goodreads-we-re-joining-the-amazon-family) and in a few general GR communities for a few days, and I think that the management /response back to the community by Goodreadshas been slow and flat-footed.

Reading through the first 800 comments is pretty telling. (I have to catch up on the next 1200.)

For the cataloguers -it was not all that long ago that Amazon was perceived as an unsympathetic figure to the community thanks to the mess over the book API. I feel bad for the volunteer librarians who worked hard to help their community transition to Ingram's data when something went bizarrely wrong b/w Goodreads /Amazon: http://readwrite.com/2012/01/30/why_goodreads_gave_up_on_amazon . THe blog post tone could seem somewhat dismissive of their previous efforts and kind of like a slap in the face. I definitely get that sense and think GR needs to smooth things over with the librarian /cataloguing community.

As far as the reviewers -- Amazon and Goodreads are considered very different review environments with Amazon as the more restrictive of the two. There are legitimate concerns about what will happen to reviews for books borrowed (not purchased) or written by writers for other writers.

While authors may embrace the potential cross-over of reviews, the book bloggers on GR are a pretty independent sort. The idea that their work might be subsumed into Amazon without opt-out concerns them. Thgat it might be used to drive book sales on Amazon also irks them. (And this perception isn't helped by changes to the settings that happened after the announcement that placed Amazon as the first "buy" button on books vs. Kobo/B&N which used to hold that top spot.)

And then the data mining -- well, I guess some people are now aware that they represent a bunch of data to improve Amazon's algorithms, review banks, or sales. Of course that isn't going to sit well with a community who thought they were building something around a shared love for books.

But the biggest mistake any community manager can make is making changes particularly as big as this one without talking it through with the community itself.

I just watched people rage on Wattpad over changing "fans" to "followers"... something as big as "getting a new owner" can't possibly be met calmly by people who invest hours of their lives into a social network.

Of course, I doubt anyone in the publishing world is going to get this at all... and that's the sad part about the internet. Communities are generally never safe from becoming a sales point.... it's almost a joke how if anything gets big enough it'll inevitably be sold off as a source of data for some bigger fish to fry.

So glad I never invested in GR as a sole place for posting reviews or used it to catalog my books. I'd be pretty pissed too.

I still have not figured out all of the bells and whistles on GR, but it was a link from one of their groups that sent me here (and I think that it was SgL that posted it)

I didn't even know that we could set ourselves up there as authors. @Nick, what did you have to do there?


You can set yourself up as an author if one of your books is already on the site with you named as author. Fortunately two anthologies I featured in had already been submitted with me named as an author, so I didn't need to work out how to submit books myself.

If a book is on there with you as author, Goodreads will create a dummy author profile for you, and you can just click on the "This is me" link at the bottom to claim it.

does webfiction count as a book in this case?

Not sure. All the anthologies in question were sold through Amazon, so presumably set up with ISBNs and so forth. The guidelines on the right of the Add Book forum suggests that webfiction technically might not be: http://www.goodreads.com/book/new

Whether anyone would complain if you added it anyway, I don't know.

I might be ok. At least one of those fancy shmancy college journals that I wrote for must've published with an isbn


There was a verification step involved ... I wasn't able to add myself in as an author until the book "appeared" on smashwords or amazon.