When I wrote last week about the implications of the Goodreads/Amazon merger, I missed one particularly important reason Amazon may have decided to purchase the social reading site.
But before I mention it, let me step back for a moment. I’ve been seeing some good quality books coming out of Amazon’s publishing imprints, Thomas & Mercer and AmazonCrossing. I’m finding them from the ads on my Kindle Touch because, not surprisingly, Amazon is heavily promoting their own books through Kindle ads.
All three were good books, and I’ve been downloading samples of other books I see advertised on my Kindle. So far, I haven’t been disappointed by any of the books I’ve discovered.
So Amazon is, in my opinion, doing a good job finding and nurturing talent. Joe Konrath has said repeatedly that he’s happy with his relationship with Amazon, so it appears as if they are satisfying both readers and writers. Which is more than you can say about the Big Six. (Check out Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s latest scathing post for a good example. )
What does this have to do with Amazon and Goodreads? Simple. I think another reason Amazon bought Goodreads was to find another source of good authors to woo. Look at what they say on the AmazonCrossing site:
Similar to AmazonEncore, Amazon.com’s first publishing imprint, AmazonCrossing uses customer feedback and other data from Amazon sites to identify exceptional works that deserve a wider, global audience.
Looks to me like Amazon just invested in another site from which to mine data about who’s good and who’s not.
If you are a successful self-published author interested in being discovered by Amazon, I’d suggest you create/brush up your Goodreads page and presence.