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.

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  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.

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  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 “createspace.com,” 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, smashwords.com (among others) which produces a far superior eBook format. I`m also on Goodreads.com 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

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    • 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.

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  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.

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  5. Keep on writing, great job!

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  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 createspace.com, 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

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  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.

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

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

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