A Suggested Response to Amazon’s Acquisition of GoodReads

I’m not shy about my stance on independent bookstores. I love them.  I owe my career as an author to them. And I support them every chance I get. One of my local indies, The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, carefully organizes book orders for all of my Skype author visits so that kids all over the country can order signed books after I Skype with their classes.

So today’s news that Amazon has acquired GoodReads is a concern for me. People who use GoodReads are book lovers who like to keep track of their reading and share great books with one another. And soon, they’ll be supporting Amazon whether they chose to or not.

I understand that lots of people like buying books online, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you like bookstores — real brick-and-mortar bookstores that smell like paper, with smiling people who know your kids — then you need to support them, or they won’t be here for long.

So here’s my suggestion for friends on GoodReads who want to support independent bookstores.  Write your reviews. Log your reading and recommend your books. And end each review with a link to IndieBound.  I’m going to go through my GoodReads reviews to do this as I have time to edit. I started with my friend Linda Urban’s new book, THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING. My review ends like this now:

You’ll want to read this one aloud because the language sings. You’ll want to read it for the voice, for the humor, and for the interconnected stories that fit like a perfect puzzle.  You’ll want to read it for that made-of-awesome small-town New Hampshire parade. And you’ll want to read it for Ruby. Mostly for Ruby. She’s a girl you know, so your heart will ache for her and celebrate with her, and when you turn the last page, you just might understand where to find the center of everything, too.

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780547763484

If you love indie bookstores as much as I do, and you’re reviewing any of my books on GoodReads, I’d love it if you used these links at the end:

CAPTURE THE FLAG

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order CAPTURE THE FLAG on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780545419741

HIDE AND SEEK

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order HIDE AND SEEK on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780545419758

MARTY MCGUIRE

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order MARTY MCGUIRE on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780545142465

MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780545142472

OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order  OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780811867849/kate-messner/over-and-under-snow

SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780811875646

EYE OF THE STORM

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order EYE OF THE STORM on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780802723130

SUGAR AND ICE

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order SUGAR AND ICE on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780802723307

THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780802721730

 

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32 Comments

  1. Posted March 28, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    This is a great idea! I supported my favorite independent bookstore this afternoon and now have two new poetry books to savor.

  2. Posted March 28, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Great idea! I dunno how to link my books to indiebound though.

  3. Posted March 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE your idea! I am a huge supporter of Indie authors and publishers, and up until now Goodreads seemed to have a similar philosphy. I do not want to support Amazon. I will use your Indiebound.org suggestion. Thanks for sharing~
    Beth DiIorio 🙂

  4. Kelly Ramsdell Finem
    Posted March 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant!

  5. Karen Long
    Posted March 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Greatidea! I do prefer independent book stores and this is a wonderful way to,show support.

  6. Posted March 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Love.

  7. Elise Nelson
    Posted March 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I support my local indie bokstore Dragonfly Books.

  8. Posted March 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, I didn’t even know this had happened. Thanks for raising the flag.

  9. Rachel Q
    Posted March 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the tip! I’m not Amazon’s biggest fan, but I do love independent bookstores, and I hope we can keep them running.

  10. Posted March 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Good ideas. I got a bit concerned about this when my indie bookstore closed their GoodReads account. I’m not sure if that will help them because when I see a review from it I trust it.

  11. Posted March 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    How do I get my books listed on Indie Bound?

  12. Posted March 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I love this, and I agree!!! SUPPORT THE INDIES!!! Thanks Kate, for the message, and congratulations on your mega-success! You are a huge inspiration!!

  13. Lucy
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Great idea but Can we support public libraries too!

    • Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Lucy, what do you think would be the best way to do this? With a link to WorldCat?

    • Michelle
      Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Great idea! Here’s what Mr. Schu writes at the end of his reviews on his blog – supporting your local library and when you can your indie book store (linked):

      Borrow Number the Stars from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

  14. Kim Pfennigwerth
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Brilliant idea. I also wonder how trustworthy the ratings will stay. Sad to feel Amazon only sees dollar signs from our sharing of books.

  15. Posted March 29, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Kate, I love your idea, but I fear the new Goodreads will not allow it. Amazon got into a fight with Goodreads not long ago because it had a rule about affiliates not including links to other vendors on their sites. Once the deal is closed in July-ish, I suspect the new Goodreads will disallow any such “disloyal” linking. It’s the kind of thing their technology can easily detect and enforce.

  16. Erin
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Wonderful idea! I adore goodreads and was bummed to hear the news on NPR this morning. This solution will allow me to save my goodreads account and support independent bookstores at the same time.

  17. Emily
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I heard that soon linking to any other book purchasing site won’t be allowed, but perhaps I’m wrong?

  18. Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Great post. Great way to handle a situation that I agree with – sucks. I will start adding your suggestion to all my goodreads reviews. I plug our local valley indp. bookstore on my blog and tv appearances.

  19. Posted March 29, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    This is a good idea, though I can imagine Amazon prohibiting links in GR reviews, as they currently do with reviews on Amazon. Easy to strip them out automatically.

  20. Posted March 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    This is an excellent idea and answers at least some of our concerns about Goodreads. What a shame, though. Something else swallowed up by a big corporation!

  21. Mia
    Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I am a HUGE supporter of RJ Julia – my local indie. But I also have to admit to many Amazon purchases as well. Here is a link that I thought you\\\\\\\’d get a kick out of reading…
    http://www.hughhowey.com/amazon-and-goodreads/

  22. Posted March 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Very cool idea, thanks….

  23. Posted March 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    GR will be lovingly wrapped in influence ranking algorithms and gently folded into Amazon’s new contextual search. We all noticed the disappearance of “likes” and tags on Amazon weeks ago. The plot thickens.

  24. Posted March 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Paula Morrow
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I suspect Amazon will strip out any links … but I’ve been known to word them with the spaces and (at) and (dot). If even that doesn’t work (it’s pretty obvious, after all, try adding a word (at symbol) and (period). I haven’t tried this yet, but maybe …

  26. Posted March 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Great idea which will really help our independent bookstores.

3 Trackbacks

  • By Amazon Has Acquired Goodreads | people who write on March 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    […] Read more about Amazon’s Goodreads acquisition on PublishersLunch.com, and check out author Kate Messner’s response to the news. […]

  • […] So, Amazon bought GoodReads. Why? I think they want to be part of everyone’s reading experience and since most people don’t write book reviews for them like they used to they had to come in and snatch up GR.  Super author Kate Messner has a great idea for those of us who want to help the mom and pop shops who made our careers.  It’s also mischief making in the face of a giant corporation which I wholeheartedly support.  If you love GoodReads but like to buy your books in actual stores this is one way to show your support.  http://www.katemessner.com/a-suggested-response-to-amazons-acquisition-of-goodreads/  […]

  • […] article about GoodReads being bought by Amazon and how that may hurt indie bookstores. Check it out HERE. She has a great idea to keep supporting local […]

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