Now, I am not trying to sell people on this company (owned by Amazon), and it is not without its faults. A little hard to navigate, who am I kidding, I still get lost on the site. The adverts won’t go away. Finding friends who are not authors is hard, especially when you want to avoid connecting to facebook and when you do connect, the contacts don’t move over (frustrating). It can be easy to be bored with it.
That last point is probably good as it encourages you to disconnect and go read a book.
Other than that, it is a good place to share opinions, recommend to friends what they should read next (this is probably a lot more polite to my shoving the book under a friend’s nose and demanding they love it), discover new authors, and be in the loop for new releases from your favourites and maybe get lucky with a giveaway.
When Amazon purchased the company a few years ago, many people threatened they would close their accounts. Instead, the number of members doubled. It is the largest book club in the world. And very interesting to see what’s on other peoples’ bookshelves.
Reading will never be usurped by any other media, no matter how much people try to predict its fall. Just look at the people reading and what they’re saying about the books, look at the rise of so many authors, the sales of the kindle. Reading is popular.
Goodreads uses a statistical algorithm. With ‘x’ amount of information from what you have read and mark as something you want to read, the site will recommend similar things. Only books with a certain number of reviews will be shown to you.
A little scary to think that a computer program can understand you better than most people. That our likes and dislikes can be converted to data. And all of it is being collected by the biggest online book retailer in the world. What exactly are they doing with that information on all of us?
Not that the recommendation system has led me astray so far. I have discovered a number of good reads because of it, so I shouldn’t really complain.
The real fear is the fact it is owned by Amazon. The chatter from other indie authors has been scary; the retailer has been removing reviews (again, they help sell a book via recommendations), and doing all kind of punishing things just because they’re not traditionally published. Isolating their books and trying to make them disappear into the internet black hole.
And get this, Amazon is working with the big publishers to promote ‘vanity publishing’, of course they call it something else. You pay the publisher so much more and receive even less than if you did it yourself.
Should be interesting if they try to do the same squeeze over at goodreads. I certainly hope that it will escape the cleansing. Or maybe another site will pop up and revolutionise everything.
Until then, might as well try and use the system as best as I can. In fact, look bellow.