There was an uproar on Tuesday as authors realized that some of their books on Goodreads was going to be deleted from the network’s database. The books in question were all listed from Amazon.com. At first, indie authors were concerned that Goodreads might be targeting them specifically, but later in the day, Goodreads customer support revealed that it was Amazon themselves who were requesting the change, and their deadline to have book data off the Goodreads site was January 30. Goodreads urged their members to rescue books by inputting book information from sources other than Amazon. Affected books have a message asking someone to rescue them on the pages with their descriptions. I mistakenly thought this was strictly and ebook thing, but yesterday I got an email from Goodreads that one of my titles, Being a Leader and Making Decisions, was also going to be taken off the site. For most books, authors can simply give an alternate source of information. But what about books that are being distributed solely on Kindles? Well, they’re screwed.
So why is Amazon doing this? It’s hard to say for sure, but I think it’s because Goodreads sells books, so they are competition, and as a social networking site, Goodreads and Amazon’s Shelfari are in direct competition.
Amazon’s a big company so they can throw their weight around. But is it wise to piss off authors? Some think they may have a class-action lawsuit on their hands.