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Thread: Goodreads is no longer accepting book data from Amazon. Anyone know why?

  1. #1
    Author of 'Alex' ANicolai's Avatar
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    Goodreads is no longer accepting book data from Amazon. Anyone know why?

    Mods, if this is in the wrong forum, please move it - I put it here because as a self-published author this could potentially impact me pretty hard if I didn't catch it. I wanted to get the word out, and see if anyone else had any more details.

    This morning I saw the following on Goodreads:

    "Dear Adam, 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.

    This includes data such as titles, author names, page counts, and publication dates. For the vast majority of book editions, we have imported this data from other sources. Those few remaining editions for which we haven't found an alternative source of information will be removed from Goodreads."

    It goes on to state that your data (reviews, ratings, shelves) will be safe, but the book title and author will be removed. This, obviously, would be disastrous if your marketing plan has Goodreads as a major component (mine does).

    I'm going to go ahead and update all the info for my novel right now. Make sure if you have a book on Goodreads and find it a valuable tool, you do the same.

    They mention that they don't want to take any more data from booksellers, which might explain why they're dumping Amazon as a data source, but I'm still curious what triggered this. Was there some particular event or customer complaint? Weird.
    Alex - my first novel.

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  2. #2
    Fantasy Smut? Yes please! Anjasa's Avatar
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    Strange, it says on their author program:

    The Author Program is designed for people with published books, or who are in the process of publishing a book. It's best if your work is on a bookseller's website, such as Amazon.com or BN.com, but we will accept any author who has published a book. This includes authors from other countries as well as authors who are self-published (such as through Barnes & Noble pubit! or services like Lulu). If your book is self-published and is not yet in the Goodreads database, you may manually add it.



  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW mshaw2268's Avatar
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    "we make it a priority to use book information from the most reliable and open data sources."

    So they're saying Amazon isn't reliable? That's odd.

    "They mention that they don't want to take any more data from booksellers."

    Maybe it's just me, but I'd think booksellers would be a great place to get info on books.
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  4. #4
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    I'm glad you posted this. I was checking Goodreads last night as I have a giveaway that ends on Monday and I was checking to see how many people had entered. When I clicked on my book, I received a notice that said something like, This book is in danger of being removed from Goodreads, will you save it? I followed the link and read the same message you posted above. I updated all my books, including cover images. Scary to think they would have missing information all of a sudden.
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  5. #5
    Crazy Cat Lady AllisonK's Avatar
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    They said it has something to do with Amazon putting too many restrictions on how the use the data, I believe. I can see this causing a lot of books to be lost if authors don't rescue them, however, since so many self-published books are exclusively listed on Amazon. I already rescued mine, so I'm hoping it won't be affected once the 30th rolls around.
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  6. #6
    Author of 'Alex' ANicolai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
    I can see this causing a lot of books to be lost if authors don't rescue them, however, since so many self-published books are exclusively listed on Amazon. I already rescued mine, so I'm hoping it won't be affected once the 30th rolls around.
    Same. I check my various listings several times a day, but I could see someone who'd had a book out for quite awhile not doing that. I think those folks will be most likely to be affected.
    Alex - my first novel.

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  7. #7
    Just too cute to change c.m.n.'s Avatar
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    Wow. That really...

    Thanks for posting this. I would have totally missed it!
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  8. #8
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    There have been other problems with Amazon and sites using Amazon's API.

    It's not reflecting well on Amazon.

    I suspect that it mostly has to do Amazon having bought Shelfari a few years ago (a competing site in terms of books and social networking).

    I'm a Librarian on Good Reads; let me know if you need help (PM me).

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  9. #9
    Writing once, twice, and forever. SakuraReyna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshaw2268 View Post
    "we make it a priority to use book information from the most reliable and open data sources."

    So they're saying Amazon isn't reliable? That's odd.

    "They mention that they don't want to take any more data from booksellers."

    Maybe it's just me, but I'd think booksellers would be a great place to get info on books.
    That was my question when I saw this on my Goodreads Author Page last night...
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  10. #10
    Dust Bunnies are NSA Agents! robjvargas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshaw2268 View Post
    "we make it a priority to use book information from the most reliable and open data sources."

    So they're saying Amazon isn't reliable? That's odd.
    Actually, there's two parts to that. Amazon might be reliable, but not very open. Someone else mentioned restrictions that Amazon places on use of their data.
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  11. #11
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    How is Goodreads going to handle books which only exist as Kindle editions if it won't take information from Amazon?

  12. #12
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    How is Goodreads going to handle books which only exist as Kindle editions if it won't take information from Amazon?
    People will have to add them.

    I've been adding them for books I have or authors I know.

    Overdrive is another source . . . one offered by my local public libraries.

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  13. #13
    I'm a Goodreads librarian too. I imagine this might have something to do with the constant flood of "books" by LLC and other shady operators who put together compilations of Wikipedia articles and sell them on Amazon with misleading titles. Those automatically get imported into Goodreads and show up when you search for a book title.

    Also, I'm okay with every self-published Kindle book not automatically being imported into Goodreads. If the author or fans want it entered, they can do it easily enough.

  14. #14
    JWNelson JWNelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadan View Post
    I'm a Goodreads librarian too. I imagine this might have something to do with the constant flood of "books" by LLC and other shady operators who put together compilations of Wikipedia articles and sell them on Amazon with misleading titles. Those automatically get imported into Goodreads and show up when you search for a book title.

    Also, I'm okay with every self-published Kindle book not automatically being imported into Goodreads. If the author or fans want it entered, they can do it easily enough.
    Thanks for that advice!

  15. #15
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say that this is not just a self-publishing issue. My trade published books also needed to be rescued. See this thread:
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...=1#post6942347

  16. #16
    Fantastic historian Anne Lyle's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this - my US editions seem fine, but my UK paperback needed "rescuing". Vital to ensure that people who use the barcode scanner don't come up blank!
    Elizabethan fantasy N1ght's Masque - out now from 4ngry R0bot Books.


  17. #17
    Attends The School of AW Alitriona's Avatar
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    It doesn't have to be the author of the book. I'm a librarian too and I've been saving any I come across by authors I know.

  18. #18
    Writing my way off the B Ark Becky Black's Avatar
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    I've rescued some and will do others as I come across them. What a PITA. My own are fine, since I put them on myself - being a librarian and being far too impatient to wait for anyone else to do it.
    Writer of m/m and now f/f romance. My novels are available from Loose Id and my shorts from JMS Books and Dreamspinner Press. See more details in my Absolute Write Library thread.

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