As if anyone in the publishing industry needed another reason to view Amazon with suspicion and alarm: Today the goliath announced it’s acquiring literary-themed social networking site Goodreads. Head for your bunkers; we’ve just gone to End of Publishing DefCon 1.
Said Amazon’s VP of Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti, “Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading.” He continued to wax poetic:
“Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.”
That’s all fine and dandy, but the real motive probably has more to do with cold, hard cash. The acquisition will allow Amazon to further tighten its choke-hold over the bookselling market, as Goodreads has a 15-million-member community of people who love nothing more than recommending new titles to each other. If you don’t know the meaning of the word “synergy,” you can look it up in your Kindle dictionary.
This is going to put an impossible amount of pressure on those poor bastards at Bookish.