Amazon is going away as a data source

At Goodreads, we make it a priority to use book information from the most reliable and open data sources, because it helps us build the best experience for our members. To that end, we're making a major change.

On January 30, Goodreads will no longer display book information that comes from Amazon.

Amazon's data has been great for us for many years, but the terms that come with it have gotten more and more restrictive, and we were finally forced to come to the conclusion that moving to other datasources will be better for Goodreads and our members in so many ways that we had to do it. It may be a little painful, but our aim is to make it as seamless as possible for all our members.

Amazon data that we will stop using includes data such as titles, author names, page counts, and publication dates. For the vast majority of book editions, we are currently importing this data from other sources. Once the imports are done, those few remaining editions for which we haven't found an alternative source of information will be removed from Goodreads.

Member ratings, reviews, and bookshelves are safe, but your data may be moved to a different edition of the book. If we can't find a matching edition, then your review will be attached to a book with no title or author. But the good news is that there's a way you can help.

Today, we are announcing new tools to help Goodreads Librarians source data for the books that need rescuing.

To view these new tools, click here and click "rescue me!" next to any of the books on the list. You will then see a form with data to fill in and some helpful guidelines for where to locate said data.

Early next week, we will be importing a database of 14 million ISBNs from a new source, so many of the books that seem to need rescue today may not actually be in jeopardy. We won't know until we import this new data source. So please don't spend a lot of time rescuing books—we don't want you to do unnecessary work. What we really need is for everyone to try rescuing a few books to see if the tools are working as we hoped. That way, once next week rolls around, we'll be ready to get down to the business or rescuing the books that actually are in jeopardy.

Thanks for helping Goodreads remain the amazing resource and special place it is. Hopefully all of this work will result in an even more robust Goodreads database, a database that, with your help, is already one of the best book databases in the world, and will last the ages.

The rescue link:

Update: There have been many questions about Kindle Editions and books in the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) program. As these editions are unique to Amazon, there are no alternative data sources. We anticipate keeping these, and will bend over backwards for all our authors who publish via Kindle to make sure their readers on Goodreads have a smooth transition.

Amazon Publishing bookshop boycott grows

Independent booksellers join Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Canadian chain Indigo in refusing to stock retail giant's own books
The cold war between north American booksellers and Amazon has hotted up this week, with the booksellers joining together to announce that they will not be selling any of the titles published by the online retailer.

The opening salvo was fired last week by America's biggest book chain Barnes & Noble, when it announced that it would not be stocking Amazon Publishing's books. The website publishes a large range of titles, with imprints covering everything from romance to thrillers, and major authors including Deepak Chopra and self-help guru Timothy Ferriss.

"Our decision is based on Amazon's continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent," said Jaime Carey, chief merchandising officer, in a statement. "These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain ebooks to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content. It's clear to us that Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner to Barnes & Noble, as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self-interest."

Barnes & Noble's 705 stores were quickly joined by Canada's 247-shop Indigo Books and Music, with vice-president Janet Eger saying to Canadian press that the retailer would also not be stocking Amazon's books on the grounds that "Amazon's actions are not in the long-term interests of the reading public or the publishing and book retailing industry, globally". The US's second largest bricks and mortar book retailer Books-A-Million followed suit, entering the fray late last week when it told Publishers Weekly that its 200 stores would not carry Amazon Publishing's titles either.

Now the US's independent booksellers have joined the boycott, with the American Booksellers Association's e-commerce platform for independent stores, IndieCommerce, beginning the process of removing all Amazon titles from its database, according to Publishers Weekly.

"While Amazon is seeking to distribute its print catalogue through conventional means, it seems that they are simultaneously pursuing a strategy of locking in ebook exclusives which other retailers are not allowed to sell. IndieCommerce believes that this is wrong," wrote director Matt Supko, in an email to independent booksellers. He also stated that "only publishers' titles that are made available to retailers for sale in all available formats will be included in the IndieCommerce inventory database".

The latest clash between Amazon and its bricks-and-mortar counterparts follows anger from US booksellers before Christmas, after offered a discount to customers who looked at items for sale on the high street and then bought them online. ABA wrote an open letter to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos at the time, calling the promotion "the latest in a series of steps to expand your market at the expense of cities and towns nationwide, stripping them of their unique character and the financial wherewithal to pay for essential needs like schools, fire and police departments, and libraries".

Source : Guardian | Goodreads

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