Goodreads introduces Goodreads Deals
Goodreads is the leading social reading site. Amazon bought it about three years ago
and there were concerns that it would become Amazon-centric and hopes that it could use the power of Amazon for readers.
Amazon doesn’t tend to be heavy handed when it acquires a company. I would guess that many people didn’t realize for some time that Amazon had acquired IMDb.com, which I use regularly (it’s a movie/TV reference site).
I would say that’s been the case with Goodreads as well. Yes, you got integration with Amazon, where you could import your Amazon-purchased books to your Goodreads shelves. Sure, we see some Amazon ads. However, when you go to an individual book’s page, there are links to buy it at all these places:
- Barnes & Noble
- Apple iBooks
- Google Play
- Book Depository
- Better World Books
Amazon is listed separately and first, but they haven’t stopped people from using Goodreads to discover books to buy at specific competitors (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks…).
That’s why I use it as one of my top links in
for books not in the public domain. For a public domain book (one not under copyright protection), I’ll first link to somewhere you can read it legally for free (I usually use ManyBooks). If it’s under copyright protection, my first link is to WorldCat, so someone can find it in the public library…I’m trying to make access to the books, movies, TV shows, radio sows, and so on, at TMCGTT as frictionless as possible. If somebody wants to buy it, I don’t link directly to a page like the book’s product page at Amazon, where the primary purpose is to sell you the book. I do link to the Goodreads page, where buying it is an option, but not the focus.
Well, Goodreads just announced a new discounting program:
This is only for U.S. members at this point (I know that may be disappointing for my readers around the world, but it may expand in the future), but I’m looking forward to seeing what discounts are available!
One part is based on books on your Want to Read list, and on authors you follow. These are personalized coupons. I have to say, if they work as well as our Safeway coupons work, I’m in! Our Safeway app regularly saves us significant money on items we buy regularly.
I do think it’s interesting that it doesn’t say it will be based on books you say you have read. I think that may be a mistake: as a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, I can tell you that significant part of our business was people buying books they already owned as gifts for other people. I’ve bought some books many times to give away. However, since it does work for authors you are following, that’s another way to go.
The second part isn’t based on you specifically: you sign up for discounts in specific genres. They will add to these, but they are starting with these genres:
- Mystery & Thrillers
- Fantasy & Sci-Fi
“Bestsellers” isn’t exactly a genre, but we’ll let that slide.
Those will come as daily e-mails.
That means that Goodreads is now directly competing with sites like BookGorilla and BookBub.
When I signed up, it was interesting that I could configure it for deals from any of five sources (and by default, all five were selected):
- Amazon Kindle
- Apple iBooks
- Barnes & Noble Nook
- Google Play
For me, I left it on the default with everything selected. That’s so I can get more information about what’s happening in the industry, and report things to you.
The first deal which was sent to me, within about a minute of signing up, was impressive:
This Alice Sebold book was a huge bestseller…and the price is $2.99.
I did check: that’s the same price you see if you go to the book through the Amazon website…it’s not an exclusive coupon, from what I can see, but notification of a sale. Not surprisingly, the sale price was good from all five of the stores…price matching can do that, as can the Agency Model.
By the way, I often have put books on my Want to Read shelf which I already own (but haven’t yet read). This wasn’t one of those, but I don’t know if that will impact the offers I see or not (I’m guessing not).
This seems like something that makes sense for most readers to do.
What if you are a publisher?
You can nominate an e-book deal by e-mailing email@example.com.
I think that, generally, Goodreads will find the deals on their own…but it’s also possible that publishers will be able to pay a fee to have a deal included. The blogpost says, “We’ll announce pricing soon. Stay tuned.”
What do you think? Will you sign up? What genres would you like to see? Will you look at books for stores you don’t use? Would you want to see books you’ve already read included (I’ve suggested on the comments page that they allow us to indicate on each of our shelves if we want the used for Goodreads Deals or not. That would also allow people to have a shelf specifically for that purpose…and they might add books to that during the holidays). What does this mean for Bookgorilla, Bookbub, eReaderIQ, and others? Would you use it for gifts, or more for yourself? Does it change your engagement with Goodreads (it will mine, because I’ll follow more authors…hey, I’d probably follow all of them). ;) How do you feel about them including non-Amazon stores? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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