April 2013 Review

Social News

I didn't notice any notable April Fools pranks this year, although some may say the Amazon take over of Goodreads might qualify. Unfortunately it isn't a prank and the deal will apparently go through soon. Am I upset or even just concerned about this? Well, actually I am not sure. I like Amazon as they were my first outlet for book sales. I chose to publish with BookSurge and I still have a couple of books in progress with CreateSpace. I also published all my books as eBooks in both Kindle and MobiPocket. So although I might not like the exclusivity clause for the Kindle Select programme, I am happy with Amazon. I also spent some time on the Amazon forums in my early days, but that is quite a long time ago now.

At one time I used to limit my socialising to the science fiction or other Kindle associated forums on Amazon. But the problem with authors spamming books almost everywhere lead to the infamous Meet Our Authors forum. I have to say that like many readers I had gotten pretty fed up with that long before the enforced change, and I am an author of books. I was one of many authors who only promoted in the threads provided for that purpose, but we were in the minority and things were getting way out of control. Eventually I just stayed within one or two threads only, one of which was the Wheel Spinners thread. I still sometimes read the latest posts there, but I have generally lost touch with it all.

I am far more comfortable on GoodReads. And although I don't post a lot, I do belong to a number of Goodreads groups and I do conntribute from time to time in my small way. So I wouldn't want things to change. Hopefully they won't. But there is a worry or two about the integrity of reviews in the future, whether authors would even be allowed to review books here, and whether the current level playing field for all the available eReaders will be maintained. I think that if these worries are dealt with in a positive way most people will be happy to continue as normal. I probably fit into that category.

One thing that does get me is that GoodReads became what it is due to a vast number of volunteer librarians who worked their butts off last year dealing with the Amazon data feed restrictions. And now that their butts are well and truly worked off, the Amazon feed is coming back and the owners of GoodReads appear to have made a great deal of money out of the sale of the site. How come all those volunteer librarians didn't get a cut of the deal? In my opinion they should have. As an author I have librarian status, but I wouldn't rate my efforts against many of theirs as worth a penny. If you frequent the GoodReads forums you probably know the librarians I mean. They post everywhere and help everyone who needs it almost everyday. They deserve to get something out of this Amazon deal, but they won't. And I think that is at the root of what upsets me about it the most.

To coin a phrase from the books of a well known science fiction author: TANJ.

See you next time.

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