New "find at" links on book pages

Posted by Otis Chandler on August 4, 2009
With the last release we changed our "find at" links that appear on our book pages. I wanted to make sure everyone knew our reasoning for doing so.

Amazon recently updated their Terms of Service for developers, and at their behest we have changed our book page to conform to the new terms of service (which go into effect August 15). Much of our book data (especially our book covers) comes from Amazon, which is why we are required to make this change.

The term in question is:
(d) You will link each use of Product Advertising Content to, and only to, the related Product detail page of the Amazon Site, and you will not link any Product Advertising Content to, or in conjunction with any Product Advertising Content direct traffic to, any page of a site other than the Amazon Site (however, parts of your application that are not closely associated with Product Advertising Content may contain links to sites other than the Amazon Site).

The order of the book links can still be customized, however e-commerce sites will not show up on the book page, but instead on the "more options.." link found to the right of the Amazon link. Non e-commerce book links will still show up on the book page, which is why many of you might see WorldCat as an option.

I can understand Amazon's reasoning in this change, as their API and affiliate program both exist as ways to increase their revenue, and it makes sense they'd act in their own interest. Goodreads owes a debt of gratitude to Amazon for this, as you would not believe the price to purchase book meta-data from other sources. Amazon's price (free, but with strings attached) - is actually pretty good - not to mention we actually make some money from affiliate fees! As to why book meta-data is expensive in the first place, that's a rant for another day - just suffice it to say that it's mind-bogglingly illogical.

In other areas however I'm not sure Amazon's thinking is so clear. For instance, Goodreads is expressly not allowed to build an iphone app as long as we use Amazon data. We aren't the only ones - see a recent Techcrunch article about Delicious Library's app being pulled. Here is the term that prevents this:

(e) You will not, without our express prior written approval requested via this link , use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device.

Happily for us, web-based mobile sites are fine - which is why we've been putting time into improving our Mobile Site. Note that we did try to apply for permission, and were rejected.

Amazon has done a great job sparking innovation with it's Product API and Affiliate Program. It's sad to see that trend starting to be reversed.


Here's a screenshot of what the new links look like. We added a nifty icon too:

Comments Showing 1-50 of 58 (58 new)


message 1: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca Not sure if this would be an error with the new set-up, or not, but my second choice eReader.com is still showing up. Given they sell books in an entirely different format, they're not direct competition, but they are a site which sells books.


message 2: by Praveen (new)

Praveen Madan Mind-bogglingly illogical = potentially good business opportunity. Book publishers and distributors have failed to realize the importance of making free/ cheap book meta-data available thereby handing Amazon a near monopoly in this space. I will gladly pay a reasonable fee for good clean book meta-data.


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for individuals to denounce the corporate bands which threaten to homogenize our cities and our souls, we must celebrate the powers that make us unique and declare the causes which compel us to remain independent.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all stores are not created equal, that some are endowed by their owners, their staff, and their communities with certain incomparable heights, that among these are Personality, Purpose and Passion. The history of the present indies is a history of experiences and excitement, which we will continue to establish as we set our sights on a more unconstrained state. To prove this, let’s bring each other along and submit our own experiences to an unchained world.

We, therefore, the Kindred Spirits of IndieBound, in the name of our convictions, do publish and declare that these united minds are, and darn well ought to be, Free Thinkers and Independent Souls. That we are linked by the passions that differentiate us. That we seek out soul mates to share our excitement. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the strength of our identities, we respectively and mutually pledge to lead the way as we all declare that we are IndieBound!

Find out more at Indiebound.org

Down with Amazon.com


message 4: by Otis (new)

Otis Chandler Praveen wrote: "Mind-bogglingly illogical = potentially good business opportunity.

Totally agree - a good programmer with some XML parsing skills could do very well!


message 5: by Praveen (new)

Praveen Madan Otis wrote: "Praveen wrote: "Mind-bogglingly illogical = potentially good business opportunity.

Totally agree - a good programmer with some XML parsing skills could do very well!"


I don't have the technical brain to do XML parsing stuff, but I would love to better understand how something like this (open source book meta data) might be built. Let me know if you are available to chat sometime. Thanks. praveen@booksmith.com


message 6: by Carin (new)

Carin Have you contacted Baker & Taylor and Ingram Book about the content? Both wholesalers not only can license the data in a myriad of ways (and prices) but they are usually where Amazon's information comes from. So instead of paying for the info second-hand, you could be getting it from the original sources, which means any updated info you could get much quicker.


message 7: by Chad (new)

Chad Showalter

I do not like this at all. Why only Amazon? What about all the other bookstores out there? This is absolutely insane.


message 8: by Peter (last edited Aug 05, 2009 07:51AM) (new)

Peter I don't like Amazon restricting commerce but it's completely reasonable for them to do so. And as far as GoodReads, one thing people seem to forget is that GoodReads has to pay the bills. The affiliate fees from Amazon likely go a long way towards that -- far longer than any other affiliate program.

Why? Not because they likely pay the highest rate, or because more people buy from Amazon than any other affiliate (though those are both major factors) but because Amazon pays them that fee on ANYTHING you buy from Amazon during that buying session -- not just the books. So GoodReads is making money from the DVDs, shoes and iPods you buy.

Peter Steinberg
Flashlight Worthy Books
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)



message 9: by Peter (last edited Aug 05, 2009 09:14AM) (new)

Peter Robin wrote: "Yes Peter, but THE REST OF US are not getting the money...the small vendors, the indie publishers, the indie booksellers."

Robin, just playing devil's advocate... how many of your competitors do you link to from your website? And how much information do you give away to others for free for them to use for their own profit?

I'm not saying I agree 100% with Amazon's decision -- just that I understand their motives. Oh, and I'm one of those "small vendors" myself.

Peter Steinberg
Flashlight Worthy Books
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)


message 10: by Janet (new)

Janet As usual, I'm disappointed but unsurprised at how demanding Amazon is. Why not let indie bookstores have their links, too? I'm angry.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Why not get your book data from a different source, like Ingram Books In Print, etc? That would level the playing field.


message 12: by Meghan (new)

Meghan I hope you'll explore a partnership with Indiebound.org.


message 13: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Why are they limiting the use of the covers--to which they provide access, but do not own?

Or, consider Amazon's recent troubles with censorship, both by altering book rankings or by removing books from the Kindle: http://io9.com/5317703/amazon-secretl...

Isn't it time to switch away from Amazon?


message 14: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Otis - does Google provide free book meta-data as well? What are the limitations of their API?

Also, you indiebooks spammers - you've made your point numerous times so stop trolling the comments.


message 15: by Cyn (new)

Cyn Armistead Is it really necessary to take up space with the price and date? I don't want to see that, and it limits the other links I can see and easily use as a librarian.


message 16: by Otis (new)

Otis Chandler Chad wrote: "

I do not like this at all. Why only Amazon? What about all the other bookstores out there? This is absolutely insane."


As I thought I explained, we are required by Amazon's terms to make them an exclusive link - we are expressly not allowed to link to any other e-commerce site on the book page (including Indiebound - we asked).

We didn't sell out - I swear. Ingram and B&T are definitely alternatives, but as I mentioned, very expensive. We are looking into options - I'm not happy about it either.

And please note we still were able to keep the more options link, which does link to B&N, Indiebound, and many other booksellers. We've always tried to be as democratic about it as possible - and will continue to do so to the best of our abilities.




message 17: by Denise (new)

Denise Just wondering: why aren't Borders or Borders.com listed in the options?


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul That the reasons for Amazon's bullying and Good Reads' acquiescence are comprehensible from a competitive and financial standpoint gives no comfort to all of us who despise big, fierce, faceless corporate entities following the remorseless logic of the so-called Free Market. Amazon's growth was funded by publishers who thereby created their Frankenstein Monster and now have no choice but to kowtow to it. Good Reads is a community builder, Amazon is not -- it is simply a big store. I'm afraid the two really are incompatible. I hope that somebody in the industry wakes up and starts providing clean data to any and all users who need it. Funny how costly information is proving to be in a "free" economy.


message 19: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca Otis, you did explain adequately. Amazon is the only one offering its API for free. And for a small ad supported site, that's a big deal. Presenting the Amazon link first doesn't stop those who choose to go elsewhere from going elsewhere.


message 20: by Peter (new)

Peter mlady_rebecca wrote: "Amazon is the only one offering its API for free..."

Rebecca, you make an excellent point. To my knowledge, Amazon was, for a long time, the only one who offered this depth of information for free. How many different book-related tools and sites never would have seen the light of day if they had to pay substantial sums for the data?

Peter Steinberg
Flashlight Worthy Books
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)


message 21: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Heather wrote: "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for individuals to denounce the corporate bands which threaten to homogenize our cities and our souls, we must celebrate the powers that make..."

Right on Heather, right on!


message 22: by Jackie (new)

Jackie The store I work for is a large independent who has been championing Goodreads loudly and often to our customers, including in advertisements about our store in print and on several networking/social sites. We of course knew that we share the site with Amazon. But now it seems that by supporting Goodreads we will actually be unpaid salespeople for Amazon who really doesn't need any help dominating the market. It's crushing to be betrayed (and that IS what this feels like) by a friend for money. A day or two ago I would have gladly participated in a campaign with Baker and Taylor and other sources of meta-data to get Goodreads a fair shake, or even agreed to some sort of small subscription price to participate in GR but now I'm not so sure. GR isn't the place I thought it was, and my disappointment is profound.


message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie And Peter, who said "And how much information do you give away to others for free for them to use for their own profit?": Booksellers do it each and every day. We recommend books, we post reviews, we participate in websites like GR in the hope that if we give readers information, we will at least get a fair shot at getting business from them. Any bookseller can tell you about the scores of customers who make notes at our recommends shelves, pick up store newsletters, and/or engage us in conversation about a book only to walk out of the store without making any sort of purchase. It's frustrating, but at least we had a CHANCE at the sale, and the customers recognized the fact that they got the information FROM US. With this new set up at GR, most of those doors are closed to us now.


message 24: by Cyn (new)

Cyn Armistead Jackie, I can't speak for anyone else, but I do often find books via Amazon and GoodReads that I will then acquire at a local store in preference to spending money elsewhere, so there is some turnabout :-)


message 25: by rivka, Goodreads employee (new)

rivka Denise wrote: "Just wondering: why aren't Borders or Borders.com listed in the options?"

They are. At last count we had over 200 approved links for US users (although we do have a few duplicates), and a few dozen from each of the other countries represented in the booklinks list. Each Goodreads user can still customize the order of the links on their "more" page. And while I can't speak for anyone else, I always go there before buying books. I want to see many options, not just Amazon.

Borders is on my list, and so is Indiebound.


message 26: by Foppe (last edited Aug 06, 2009 05:32AM) (new)

Foppe Jackie wrote: "or even agreed to some sort of small subscription price to participate in GR but now I'm not so sure. GR isn't the place I thought it was, and my disappointment is profound."
Not to be overly flame-ful, but what kind of place did you think it was, then? Without Amazon's API and database, this site wouldn't have existed in its current form..
Sure, I think this move is heavy-handed (esp. since you're not even allowed a 2nd store), and I find the current setup annoying (because I'm also having trouble accessing Amazon.de/fr/uk this way, and I access those almost as frequently as I do .com when I'm librariating) but I'll live.
I'm somewhat confused by your statement that the "other" publishers/resellers "play fair", while Amazon "is greedy".
Sure, they might have "played fair", but at their price level. I have the distinct impression that 10-15 years ago, there was far less competition on pricing than there is now, with Amazon.
Doesn't that also count for something?
Currently it's about 30-40% cheaper (on almost all purchases) for me to buy books from Amazon and ship them to NL, than it is for me to buy those (english language) books in a local store, all because there is no real competition on price here. (in part due to a legal price fixing cartel meant to "protect dutch literature", even though most of the books sold are translations.)


message 27: by Mark (last edited Aug 06, 2009 06:15AM) (new)

Mark Gelula This is too bad. We see here the "Walmartization" of the book industry. While I understand the motivation on the part of Amazon, it clearly does not benefit me or others who enjoy the fundamental differences between the mega store and the small independent book seller: knowledge, care, interest.
For me, I will attempt to make indiebound.org my link, or just remember to go there directly.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Being an ethical business means having to make tough decisions, and it means taking into consideration more than mere price points. Why has Goodreads not considered any response to Amazon's conditions apart from, "Oh well, I guess we're stuck with it till something better comes along"? A business truly committed to independence would not accept Amazon's terms, and that is a simple fact. I know, because I have worked for such a business, one that would rather go out of business than do business in this manner. (And, very importantly, it has managed to continue doing ethical business for more than 30 years.) I know this is antithetical to typical marketplace thinking, but that's what happens sometimes when you actually try to do what is right.

I do not believe that there is nowhere for Goodreads to cut costs, or increase revenue, to allow them to utilize a non-Amazon data source, and I do not believe that Goodreads has no leverage in negotiating terms with Amazon. Has it not occurred to anyone that Amazon benefits from this relationship as well? Goodreads has become large and influential, and my guess is most of the sales it generates have been going to Amazon anyway. If Goodreads refuses to pay for data (a refusal of suspect legitimacy, in any case), surely they can at least make the argument that Amazon benefits sufficiently from the site to allow it to offer alternatives to those who want them. It's probably too much for me to hope that a failure to fix this problem will result in a mass exodus from Goodreads, but at least one person will stop using the site, I assure you. That Goodreads would accept Amazon's patently totalitarian terms tells me that Goodreads doesn't much care about fair competition, about independent thought, or about people like me who do care about these things.

Say all you want about the bottom line, there are higher things to be considered here. There are people who willingly spend more on books at local, independent stores because they have come to realize what they're paying for. If you are someone who thinks the most important factor determining where you should purchase a book, or anything else, is the price, then you will not understand any of this. I guess I assumed that Goodreads was not run by such people, and I will hope to be shown in the near future that it is not. Otherwise, we will simply part ways, and I will know that there are no hard feelings on their side, at least, because they simply couldn't care less.


message 29: by Foppe (new)

Foppe Chris wrote: "I do not believe that there is nowhere for Goodreads to cut costs, or increase revenue, to allow them to utilize a non-Amazon data source
What revenues do you believe there are? This site is basically free (a.o.t. Shelfari/LibraryThing), which is something I assume is a conscious choice.
If Goodreads refuses to pay for data (a refusal of suspect legitimacy, in any case)
What exactly are you trying to imply here? I get the feeling you're enjoying the view from your horse very much, and enjoy making vague allegations that you then feel you don't have to support with evidence. Be specific.
And I do not believe that Goodreads has no leverage in negotiating terms with Amazon. Has it not occurred to anyone that Amazon benefits from this relationship as well"
Shelfari is owned by Amazon. (and currently experiencing very bad management, considering the current in-usability of the new site interface, but that's neither here nor there.) You may be right that GR has some bargaining power, but why do you think the rest of your post invites the admins of GR to consider your opinion if all you do is condemn and make spurious allegations? (Such as the strange opinion that you think that access to Amazon's DB is free, and that GR are lying about that fact)
I know, because I have worked for such a business, one that would rather go out of business than do business in this manner. (And, very importantly, it has managed to continue doing ethical business for more than 30 years.) I know this is antithetical to typical marketplace thinking, but that's what happens sometimes when you actually try to do what is right.
I have found (despite my youth) that people who spout lines like these are generally very annoying to have to listen to, and generally overstate their own capabilities to an immense degree. "tough decisions", "simple facts" are word combinations utterly devoid of actual meaning (and generally only spoken by salespeople), and do not help to convince at all, except of the fact that you disapprove of some decision or other very much, and feel your voice is very important. ("I hope this will result in a mass exodus?" What, as soon as someone does something you disapprove of you forget your entire positive experience with that person/company and become someone who wishes that other entity dead? Did your 30 years of 'business experience' teach you that is a useful approach to have?)
Might I suggest that next time you try a more civilized approach? It might get you a much more receptive audience.

PS. Apologies to the rest of the readers for making this such an unpleasant read, but I dislike equestrians very much.



message 30: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Just one more reason to boycott Amazon, as I have been for months now.


message 31: by Tattered Cover (new)

Tattered Cover Book Store Foppe wrote: "Jackie wrote: "or even agreed to some sort of small subscription price to participate in GR but now I'm not so sure. GR isn't the place I thought it was, and my disappointment is profound."
Not to ..."


No where in my postings did I say that anyone was playing fair or greedy--please do not put words in my mouth. I said I would have campaigned for a "fair shake" on meta data pricing for GR, and that I would have "agreed" to paying a subscription price for GR in order to support their freedom from Amazon contract constraints.


message 32: by Peter (last edited Aug 06, 2009 02:35PM) (new)

Peter (Starting to drift off-topic a bit...)

In regards to one point made above, I don't think a "small subscription price" is a workable solution for GoodReads.

GoodReads, like many recent websites, relies on a critical mass of users for many of its functions to be robust. Charging of any kind likely means only 2% to 5% (at best) of the current userbase will stick around.

Granted, it's likely the most active 2% to 5% -- so they may account for 15% of the user reviews, ratings and the like -- but I expect such a dramatic drop in incoming data would really mar the GoodReads experience.

Furthermore, a very large part of what makes GoodReads so great is that it lets me see what my friends are reading. If my friends don't pay -- well then I don't know what they're reading. :-/

Peter Steinberg
Flashlight Worthy Books
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)


message 33: by rivka, Goodreads employee (new)

rivka Foppe, I thought that was very well put. No need to apologize.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Foppe wrote: "Chris wrote: "I do not believe that there is nowhere for Goodreads to cut costs, or increase revenue, to allow them to utilize a non-Amazon data source
What revenues do you believe there are? This ..."


I'm sorry that you disapprove of my approach. I am angry about this, and feel I have reason to be, though it may come across in part as being on a "high horse" (which is what I assume you are talking about with the horse/equestrian references) or uncivilized. If so, I do apologize.

I am short on details because I don't know the particulars of Goodreads' operations, but I know enough about business to know that there are alternatives, and I am sort of stunned by the presentation of all this as an all-or-nothing situation. It's not Goodreads' responsibility to fill me in on their decision-making process, but they chose to put this out there, and I am responding to the information they provided.

To address some specific points:

Otis himself said the access was "free, but with strings attached." I didn't make it up.

I don't know what you mean when you say a phrase such as "tough decisions" is devoid of meaning. I meant it in a literal sense, as in a decision that is difficult. I thought it was straightforward.

Finally, yes, this would be enough for me to stop using Goodreads, even after thinking so highly of them for so long. If my favorite local book store made an equivalent business decision, I would stop shopping there as well. If it were a question of a single bad experience, I would get over it; instead, it is a question of an overall approach to business, and to the world of ideas.

I hope the folks running Goodreads can overlook any unfortunate tone I may have struck, because my concerns are legitimate, and shared by many. Not by all, I know, and maybe not by enough to matter. But I hope otherwise.


message 35: by Otis (new)

Otis Chandler It's worth noting that this change is not as big as some people are making it out to be. Amazon has always been at the #1 spot in our book links, for the same reasons. All that has changed is that B&N, Half.com, Abebooks, Alibris, etc are not listed on the book page, as we have set a flag that they are competing e-commerce sites. We did not go through all 300+ book links to see if there are indie bookstores, so really this change doesn't affect indie bookstores at all in the way that they use the site. People are still free to configure their booklinks however they like!



message 36: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 06, 2009 09:07PM) (new)

OK, I read the Terms of Service, and here are my observations.

It seems to me that by allowing Goodreads Librarians to update information, you also violate this clause of Amazon's terms:

4(f) "You will not add to, delete from, or otherwise alter any Product Advertising Content in any way, including by adding additional information (e.g., you may not insert words into a customer review), except that you may resize Product Advertising Content consisting of a graphic image in a manner that maintains the original proportions of the image or truncate Product Advertising Content consisting of text in a manner that does not materially alter the meaning of the text or cause the text to become factually incorrect or misleading."

And I don't see that you are in compliance with this:

4(o) "Additionally, you must either include the following disclaimer adjacent to the pricing or availability information or provide it via a hyperlink, popup box, scripted popup, or other similar method: "Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [amazon.com or endless.com, as applicable:] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.""

And so far I can't find anything complying with this:

4(q) "If you display Product Advertising Content consisting of text on your application, you will include the following disclaimer in plain view to end-users of your application: "CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS [IN THIS APPLICATION or ON THIS SITE, as applicable:] COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.""

And the more I read over the clause actually at issue here (4(d)), the less I see that it actually requires the steps you have taken. In short, I think you need a better lawyer.

And I feel compelled to add that, in order to use Amazon's API, you have had to assert, whether implicitly or explicitly, that your site has as its "principal purpose advertising and marketing the Amazon Site and driving sales of products and services on the Amazon Site" (2(a)). I don't think things could get much plainer.


message 37: by Julie (new)

Julie Why would we want to perpetuate Amazon? It is a fine site if we need to find a title. But, our independent book stores are what need our money. Are we just looking on Amazon? Or buying?


message 38: by Foppe (new)

Foppe Julie wrote: "Why would we want to perpetuate Amazon? It is a fine site if we need to find a title. But, our independent book stores are what need our money. Are we just looking on Amazon? Or buying? "

OTOH, why is it so important to support "independent bookstores"?
If they were really all that useful (and not too much more expensive for all the "Extra service" they provided), they would survive without us constantly needing to be reminded to make the "ethical choice", right?
Because I can think of lots of people who "need my money", but that hardly means they all deserve it. Failing business models deserve their reward. (And similarly if there is only demand for one "independent" store in a certain area, and there are 3-4, they'll just have to become realistic about that.


message 39: by Oliver (new)

Oliver This is ridiculous. I love Goodreads, but am now considering deleting my account. Goodreads should take responsibility for supporting independent bookstores. It's not safe or smart to allow one outlet (Amazon) to be our only outlet for books - especially one that makes stupid decisions like deleting GLBT books from search results, and deleting Orwell books from kindles.


message 40: by Min (last edited Aug 10, 2009 11:07PM) (new)

Min Thank you for the blog explaining the reasons behind the Amazon stranglehold. I originally sent an email and was directed here. I'm glad to find I am not alone in this.

I will continue to buy from my local bookstore and choose "other options" to find the book I want on their site. I don't buy from Amazon, and being the only link under a book won't change that.

I would also pay a monthly/yearly fee to Goodreads so they may get away from Amazon. Maybe something similar to Pandora.com? They have a "One" program that is fee based and makes the site free of advertising. Not that I would complain about GR sidebar ads - often I find a good book that way. I'd just like to get rid of Amazon and their behemoth industry plaguing the profile pages of my favorite books.


message 41: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Hi everyone,

This blog thread is really upsetting to me. Here at Goodreads we are absolutley trying our best not to "sell out" and at the same time provide the best service possible to our users. We are in a total stranglehold at this moment with regards to Amazon's API and we are working really hard at finding an alternative solution and a way to repay and promote all the amazing indie bookstores out there that have championed us for so long.

Our staff is such a small group here there is no way that we could take on the blindsided corporate mentality that some people seem to think we are using. I think you guys should have some patience with us...we're going to work this out. We promise.
E


message 42: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 11, 2009 07:32AM) (new)

Elizabeth wrote: "Hi everyone,

This blog thread is really upsetting to me. Here at Goodreads we are absolutley trying our best not to "sell out" and at the same time provide the best service possible to our users...."


Elizabeth,

That is precisely what I was wanting to hear. The complete silence was leading me to believe that these concerns were being dismissed or ignored. Thank you for responding. This is all I needed to feel comfortable continuing to use and promote Goodreads.




message 43: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Elizabeth wrote: "Hi everyone,

This blog thread is really upsetting to me. Here at Goodreads we are absolutley trying our best not to "sell out" and at the same time provide the best service possible to our users...."


Oh, thank you, Elizabeth, for writing to us and letting us in on the human side of what is going on. The silence was rather odd and cold, and I kept meaning to write to you because I know you better than I do Otis and I know your passion for this place. But I was just so disappointed. Personally and professionally I have a lot invested here, and I want to continue to love that, I really do. You guys have created a tremendous resource and forum and I think we are all just terribly afraid that closer ties to such a hungry and extremely dominant retailer would take the soul out of the place. But I'm with Chris on this one--I chose to put my faith in you and Otis and the rest of the gang.




message 44: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy Speaking as a person who likes to think of herself as a penny pincher...Hey, free is free! Just because Amazon is asking for that link, doesn't make me purchase all my books there. And as a penny pincher I'm following the deals...(ebay junkie!)

I love all the book covers and info given in the book descriptions and it's nice to know Goodreads isn't being charged for that info. And how can someone be a "sell out" if they're not getting paid?? Although, if Goodreads gets any more popular maybe Amazon will have to pay for the "free" advertising of that link. :)

Goodreads rocks!


message 45: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Hi Everyone,
If it seemed that we were cold, silent, and distant, it was because Otis and I tried to take our only vacation of the year last week. Sigh...
E


message 46: by rivka, Goodreads employee (last edited Aug 11, 2009 09:10PM) (new)

rivka Peribo wrote: "What happens if other book companies are mentioned in the group threads as sources to buy pa..."

The only problem is if it appears on the book page, which would not apply to any group threads here. Not only would such comments not be deleted, the booklinks to other sellers are still all there. They're just now all on the page that they mostly were on.

Edit: Also, it's pretty clear to me that Chris' interpretation of what constitutes a problem is incorrect.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

rivka wrote: "Also, it's pretty clear to me that Chris' interpretation of what constitutes a problem is incorrect."

Which problem do you mean, and what is your interpretation?


message 48: by Elizabeth (last edited Aug 12, 2009 03:03PM) (new)

Elizabeth Yes, Library Thing is subject to the same terms as we are. To clarify even further, 100 percent of our competitors are facing the same problem; we are trying to be as transparent and clear about what we are doing as we can be.


message 49: by Petra-X (last edited Aug 13, 2009 03:15PM) (new)

Petra-X Elizabeth wrote: "Hi everyone,

This blog thread is really upsetting to me. Here at Goodreads we are absolutley trying our best not to "sell out" and at the same time provide the best service possible to our users...."


Elizabeth, I didn't read your first comment before I posted the other day. I thought I'd read everyone's but obviously I hadn't, so apologies are due. If I had read it, I would not have written the same comment at all and have now deleted it as inappropriate.

Sad that 100% of the bookclubs like GR have essentially become, whether they've wanted to or not, Amazon shopfronts. I do hope you can find a way out. Recommending books that I loved doesn't hold the same joy right now.



message 50: by bowerbird (last edited Aug 15, 2009 12:23AM) (new)

bowerbird golly, are you folks retarded or something?

if you want to buy from another bookstore,
just click the "more options" button and do it!
it's just one more click; it won't kill you, really.

and if you want to buy from your independent,
right in your community, just go there and buy!

nobody is forcing you to use the amazon link.

my goodness what a bunch of whiners!

-bowerbird



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