Amazon and Goodreads

I’ve thought long and hard about how to respond to this merger/buyout/world domination thing, and I’ve started this blog post four times. Four. Enough – what it boils down to is this:

Amazon, yes, is the biggest bookseller in the world. It’s cheap, it’s convenient. Are they killing the industry, trying to take down indie bookstores? Maybe. Not a damn thing I can do about it. They’ll continue selling cheap and convenient, at All on the Same Page Bookstore we’ll keep doing what we do best: topnotch customer service, personal touch, community building, and supporting other indies – our authors and publishers.

(Seems like the indies who are complaining and bemoaning what they consider a sellout by Goodreads are the ones who support indie bookstores, and indie shops, and indie artists – but not indie authors or indie publishers. Had to get that out, because frankly, it smacks of hypocrisy.)

I’ll continue to use Amazon – for research, to look up authors and dates and titles. I might even buy non-book items – heck, I know I will: free two-day shipping, right? I might even order a book for a customer because I can get it cheaper and quicker from Amazon than I can from a publisher – how about that?

And I’ll keep selling my own books on Amazon and those of our publishing house. Why? Because I can sell more that way and that’s the bottom line. It’s business.

As for Goodreads, nope, not ditching my account there. Why? Because now I can save time – when I post a review on GR, it’ll likely go to AZ too. Two birds, and all that. Besides, what’s the point? Sixteen million users, minus a handful who deleted their accounts this weekend – are they gonna miss me? Nope.

Sure, they were “indie.” To a point. I couldn’t list the store as a place to buy books, because we don’t list our stock by ISBN. When’s the last time you, as a reader, used an ISBN to look for a book? What a joke. And Amazon has always been a choice. Nothing’s changing there.

So, yeah, for what it’s worth, here’s what I think. Probably tick off a lot of people, but remember: it’s business, not personal.


15 comments on “Amazon and Goodreads

  1. melindaclayton says:

    I agree, Robin. I don’t anticipate the merger (or buyout, or whatever) making a huge difference in anything. Those that support indie bookstores, authors, and books will continue to do so. As for whether it’s good or bad, like you said – it’s business, the way business has always been and will continue to be.


  2. conny1109 says:

    I never buy my books from Amazon. An online site can never replace the atmosphere and the scent of a bookstore. It’s also much simpler to return a book to a store than having to send it back in the mail, and there are no shipping costs. No, Amazon never earned a penny from me.


  3. I had not yet heard about this merger. I`m glad I had you on LinkedIn or I may have missed this. I`m an indie author who published through “,” and found it to be a pleasant experience that produced a great book; however, the Amazon Kindle “eBook” editions are horrible in comparison to, say, (among others) which produces a far superior eBook format. I`m also on but have never really used the site much. I guess the one thing I know from experience is this: publishing a book and selling a book are two quite different animals, indeed. Secondly, the “Indie” movement has brought about some great opportunities for writers; however, the resentment and “look-down-the nose” attitude of publishing houses has not changed much–in fact–it may be worse (laughing). Just tell an agent you`re already published, when in fact you are self published, and see their reaction. Thanks for this great post. WP


    • MishaBurnett says:

      I’m curious, in what format did you submit your manuscript to Kindle? I used Calibre to convert my book to .mobi and read it on my own Kindle, and when I got the format right, that’s the version I sent. One of the reasons that I don’t publish on Smashwords is that they don’t allow author control over formatting, you have to submit as an MSWord doc and let them do the conversion.


  4. Well said, Robin! When Amazon stops giving consumers what they want, they will go elsewhere. Nobody is on top forever, the merger is a tempest in a teapot.


  5. Keep on writing, great job!


  6. Robin,
    In response to your question about which format I used to submitted my eBook in to Amazon, I`m uncertain. The way it went down was that when I published “Voices from the Heart” in paper-back through, Amazon Kindle used the Word “doc”–just as it was formatted for the electronic printing–for the eBook (as best I can tell). When I used smashwords for my first eBook, and followed their “style Guide,” I had no issues and my book turned our awesome in terms of presentation and reader navigational controls. My book has not done well. I`ve sold a few hundred copies. Poetry is a dying art I`m afraid, and a small and very specific genre in terms of audience. I think my cover was a problem as well–too masculine. But, if I want to sell my soul and write about sex, vampires, or zombies…I`m sure I could make a quick million (laughing). Thanks, WP


  7. I like Amazon for the price and convenience. I am on Goodreads daily – love it. Still love libraries and bookstores. I agree, Robin – it’s business. Whatever sells my books is what matters to me.


  8. BTW, I’m reblogging this on my NEW WP blog.


  9. Reblogged this on Marilyn Slagel and commented:
    Reblogged from Robin Tidwell


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s