Book-Buying 2.0

by Patrick Appel

Jordan Weissmann makes sense of Amazon’s purchase of Goodreads. He points out that “just 19 percent of Americans do 79 percent of all our (non-required) book readin'” and that personal recommendations are increasingly driving book sales:

Amazon has just bought the ecosystem where many of America’s most influential readers choose their books. How exactly they’ll use it isn’t entirely clear yet. Some have suggested they’ll integrate Goodreads into the Kindle experience. Others think that, given the problems Amazon has had with writers buying friendly reviews, they might use the site as an a big cache of trustworthy opinions. As David Vinjamuri put it at Forbes, “Goodreads offers Amazon the ability to transmit the recommendations of prolific readers to the average reader.” In any event, there’s plenty of value for Amazon to unlock. Assuming, of course, they don’t do anything to muck up their new purchase