I find things like this a lot more interesting than ZOMG!!!1! Amazon has aALL THE DATA!1!!
In short, Barnes and Noble’s in-store displays don’t rule the book business like they used to, but they haven’t been usurped by Amazon’s algorithms either. Instead, the business model is moving further towards word of mouth. And, much as a very small portion of Americans do most of the book reading in this country, so too are they responsible for a vast majority of book recommending. Codex estimates that 11 percent of book buyers make about 46 percent of recommendations.
The sorts of lit lovers who like to evangelize their favorite new novel are the same sorts of folks who tend to show up on Goodreads. And so, perhaps unsurprisingly, the site is a great platform for convincing people to buy books. Roughly 29 percent of Goodreads users told Codex they’d learned about the last book they bought either on the site, or at another book-focused social network.*** At traditional social networks, the number is 2.4 percent. When all is said and done, in the world of books, Goodreads is just about as influential as Facebook.
To me, the big question in this whole deal is if/how Goodamazons is going to integrate the “Goodreads experience” with the “Kindle experience.” Some commentators have been suggesting there’s going to be some kind of an approach where you flip right from reading something on a Kindle to sharing that quote, chapter, thought, etc right on Goodreads. Dunno what the Goodreads pros like to do, but that sounds like a terrible experience to me. As someone who does his fair share of sharing things he reads with a Web audience on various platforms, I almost never shift directly from reading to sharing something. That completely destroys the pleasure of being immersed in a book, and I never really know exactly what I want to share until at least hours later, when I’ve had a chance to let things sit and reflect.