AmazonWhen 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.

So far this year, I’ve borrowed and read Alan Russell’s Burning Man, Rachel Abbott’s Only the Innocent, and Rosa Montero’s Tears in Rain (which I reviewed in January).

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,’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.


  1. I think the newest article on this website might be, “Why did Amazon buy Teleread?”. The bulk of all the news from here seems to be fixated on Amazon, rather than any other ebook related site or newsworthy mention. Is Amazon getting some financial kickback from all this free press? Gotta wonder…

  2. @Tom, and you could have said something similar a few weeks ago when we were writing a lot about Google. News goes in cycles. If your company were to do something newsworthy, I’d be happy to write about it.

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