Part of me feels as if I’ve been watching and waiting for an impending world book war: Amazon vs. The Others. Are we looking at a possible Armageddon? A colossal war that may not affect anyone else (too much) outside of the literary world? Or is it only a childish squabble? I have been reading articles about Amazon’s takeover of Goodreads on a daily basis for the past five days; not because I wanted to, but because it’s pretty hard to miss. It’s THE news of the moment. Christopher Matthews, on Time Business & Money’s website, wrote a great article entitled, “Will Amazon Take Over The World?” On Time Entertainment’s website, Lily Rothman wrote an equally intriguing article entitled, “Amazon’s Acquisition of Goodreads: Execs and Users Weigh In.”
Want to read more articles about the take over? Be my guest, there are plenty of articles to choose from:
What I’m wondering is – Is there too much hype around Amazon? Large corporations and small independent booksellers have been griping about Amazon for as long as I can remember. Okay, I admit that if we were going to create an analogy regarding this situation, then Amazon would definitely play the part of Goliath. It’s a tech company that has had the foresight and ambition to integrate into other markets and become the company that it is today – a company that is both admired and feared.
I’ve read so many negative articles about the acquisition that I started to wonder if there were any positive opinions out there in the publishing world. So, I perused the internet and found David Vijamuri’s article on Forbes called “Three Hidden Benefits of The Amazon Acquisition of Goodreads.”
Mr. Vijamuri makes some good arguments. Could Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads actually be a good thing for authors and readers? I joined Goodreads because I am an author, and wanted access to readers. I wanted to gain insight into what the reader wants – what types of books are going viral? What’s hot and what’s not for today’s readers? To go even deeper – what type of person fits into my target audience, and how can I reach them? With that said, could it be that Amazon and Goodreads might be adding, in the long run, a worthier asset or tool for me and other self-published authors?
Sure, we can say that Amazon is only thinking about itself. I would completely agree with you. I think that Amazon is doing what every other mega company that exists today is doing. In order to achieve as much success as Amazon has accomplished to date they were and are aggressive, thinking ahead, being innovative, and taking risks. Amazon will continue to grow and adapt to the current situation. What I’m wondering is: Should we be treating Amazon as if it is the bully in the sandpit that continuously takes other kid’s shovels? Or should we examine what Amazon is doing, learn to adapt ourselves, and figure out how Amazon’s success and pioneering spirit will work in our favor?
What do you think about Amazon? Should Goliath be beaten down to a pulp or should we just call it for what it is – a Fortune 500 company that’s damned good at their job?