Readersforum's Blog

April 24, 2013

Turow on Amazon/Goodreads: This is how modern monopolies can be built

Amazon’s garden walls are about to grow much higher. In a truly devastating act of vertical integration, Amazon is buying Goodreads, its only sizable competitor for reader reviews and a site known for the depth and breadth of its users’ book recommendations. Recommendations from like-minded readers appear to be the Holy Grail of online book marketing. By combining Goodreads’ recommendation database with Amazon’s own vast databases of readers’ purchase histories, Amazon’s control of online bookselling approaches the insurmountable.

“Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads is a textbook example of how modern Internet monopolies can be built,” said Scott Turow, Authors Guild president. “The key is to eliminate or absorb competitors before they pose a serious threat. With its 16 million subscribers, Goodreads could easily have become a competing on-line bookseller, or played a role in directing buyers to a site other than Amazon. Instead, Amazon has scuttled that potential and also squelched what was fast becoming the go-to venue for on-line reviews, attracting far more attention than Amazon for those seeking independent assessment and discussion of books. As those in advertising have long known, the key to driving sales is controlling information.”

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January 8, 2013

5 Ways to Organize Your Reading Piles

Book-Journal-300x207By Lindsey Reeder

When it comes to my reading, I’m annoyingly organized. Luckily, when I confessed this fact in a meeting with our team, Ainsley and Katerina confessed that, they too, have a system in terms of figuring out what they’ll be reading next. This led us to believe that there are many of you out there, or there are those out there that are looking for a little direction when it comes to cataloging your never ending book piles.

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Goodreads Infographic: What Was The Most Reviewed Book Of 2012?

r-MOST-REVIEWED-BOOK-large570Today, Goodreads came out with an awesome infographic that reviews their past year. It reveals some pretty interesting information.

Their most reviewed book on the popular website in the last year was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (if you haven’t read it yet, we suggest that you do). Given the size of the site’s audience – 13 million registered users submitting over 20 million reviews – that most likely makes it the most reviewed book online this year.

Their most added quote? It was from John Green’s fantastic 2012 YA novel The Fault in Our Stars: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Check out this infographic to discover even more:

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December 1, 2012

Review : Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:17 pm

ShadesBy Katrina Passick Lumsden

What in the hell just happened? Did I really read that? Oh, my god, I did. I did read that.

Meet Anastasia Steele:

Ana is just a giant mess of a human being. She’s insecure to the point of it being laughable, ‘klutzy’ (even though she only trips twice in the entire book), and a complete ditz. She’s a virgin (of course) who’s never taken any sexual interest in anyone before. Right. I’m fairly certain there hasn’t been a woman this naive since ’round about 1954. At one point, she thinks putting her hair in pigtails will keep her safe from Christian’s lusty advances.

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November 3, 2012

Colm Tóibín’s Favorite Novels About Religious Figures

Irish writer Colm Tóibín has earned nearly every moniker a man of letters can hold: novelist, poet, playwright, journalist, critic, essayist, and even travel writer. His fiction includes the novels Brooklyn and The Master, and his nonfiction ranges from essays on Henry James to musings on the families of writers in New Ways to Kill Your Mother. Tóibín’s latest project covers hallowed ground, where few are brave enough to tread. His novella, The Testament of Mary, is told from the perspective of Jesus’s mother. Elderly and near the end of her life, she reflects on her son’s legacy at the dawn of Christianity. Tóibín shares with Goodreads his top five novels that use fiction to explore the lives of spiritual icons.

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August 16, 2012

Goodreads Reaches 10 Million Members

By Dianna Dilworth

Goodreads, a social networking site for readers, has grown its membership to 10 million members. Collectively, these users have shelved 360 million books (chart embedded above).

The rate of growth has gained momentum in the last year and a half. The site earned its first 5 million members in four and a half years, and doubled its membership from 5 million members to 10 million members in the last 18 months.

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April 13, 2012

Vote for the Independent Book Blogger Awards

By Jason Boog

Voting is now open for the Independent Book Blogger Awards, a contest sponsored by Association of American Publishers members and Goodreads.

Four bloggers will win a trip to BookExpo America (BEA) along with “free airfare and hotel accommodations and a pass to the three-day global gathering.” You can search the list of reader nominated blogs by name or by category.

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April 5, 2012

The ___’s Daughter

  By Emily St. John Mandel

Titles have a way of coming in waves. There was a time a few years back when it seemed like vast numbers of books were being published on the subject of secret lives, as in The Secret Life of Bees, The Secret Lives of Buildings, The Secret Lives of Words, etc. Our literature seems to hold a parallel obsession with vanishing, which involves of course any number of titles involving the words “Disappear” or “Vanishing” or “Lost.”

But no trend that I’ve ever noticed has seemed quite so pervasive as the daughter phenomenon. Seriously, once you start noticing them, they’re everywhere. A recent issue of Shelf Awareness had ads for both The Sausage Maker’s Daughters and The Witch’s Daughter. I’m Facebook friends with the authors of The Hummingbird’s Daughter, The Baker’s Daughter, The Calligrapher’s Daughter, and The Murderer’s Daughters, and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

I was curious to see how many of these books there actually are, so I did a search for books with “The” and “Daughter” in their titles on Goodreads. Afterward I spent some time copying and pasting all instances of The ___’s Daughter into an Excel spreadsheet. How much time? A lot, because I’m studying a foreign language, and cutting and pasting text is exactly the kind of mindless activity that can be done while I’m listening to language podcasts.

I was careful to collect only books that adhered to the “The ___’s Daughter” formula. So I didn’t include The Murderer’s Daughters, for example, or The Kitchen Daughter. Even leaving those variations out, though, and deleting any instances where the same book appeared more than once in the search results, the number of The ___’s Daughter books out there is truly staggering.

Once I went back over my spreadsheet to remove duplications, I was left with 530 titles.

But I don’t mean to suggest that five hundred and thirty represents the total number of these books. Five hundred and thirty was just the arbitrary point where I decided to stop counting, because the project was starting to take too much time. I was only on page 88 of 200 pages of search results.

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January 30, 2012

Goodreads quits sourcing data from “restrictive” Amazon

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:23 pm

By Dennis Johnson

More signs of push-back against Amazon this weekend: Goodreads, the literary social networking site that not only allows readers to discuss books they’re reading, but offers core data about those books, allows readers to store and share information about what they’re reading, and facilitates buying those books, announced on Friday that new terms from Amazon for buying that data were “so restrictive” that Goodreads is taking its business elsewhere.

According to a Paid Content report by Laura Hazard Owen, a company statement says “the terms now required by Amazon have become so restrictive that it makes better business sense to work with other data sources.” So as of January 30, GoodReads is switching over to Ingram, the book wholesaler.

As Own details it, it’s not just the money:

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January 17, 2012

YA novel readers clash with publishing establishment

Angry exchanges … Julie Cross.

A row over the status of the bloggers who fuelled the success of young adult novels has been raging across the net.

By Julie Bertagna

A literary punch-up that had been brewing for a while finally erupted between a bunch of readers, authors and agents on Goodreads – the vast online site where millions of members discuss the world’s books. In the same week that award-winning children’s writer Anthony McGowan caused a stir with his “scorching” Guardian review of Blood Red Road by Costa winner Moira Young, the Goodreads flame war flared across Twitter, sparked by writers and agents who seemed to be stamping on negative reviews.

It all started with a “snarky” (or “honest”, depending on who’s side you’re on) review of a much-hyped YA novel, Tempest by Julie Cross, just published in the UK by Macmillan Children’s Books. A sarcastic response and put-downs of reader views on the Goodreads site by Cross’s author friends, and comments by her agent, caused outrage. While Cross responded gracefully, other YA authors and agents took the fight to Twitter in a spectacularly misjudged bout of reader-bashing, “sneering at the people who make their ****ing books reach the NYT bestseller list”, The Bookwurrm judged.

Things escalated further as authors and agents publicly discussed rigging the ratings on Goodreads and Amazon to push up the visibility of good reviews and “hide” bad ones.

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