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Move Over BookBub, Fussy Librarian – Goodreads is Getting Into eBook Discounts

8251464902_716d57fe6d_hAmazon announced on Tuesday that Goodreads is launching Goodreads Deals, a daily email newsletter which offers GR members discounted ebook deals personalized to the books listed in their shelves.

From the Goodreads blog:

Book lovers can never have too many books. But sometimes feeding your reading habit can get expensive! And who doesn’t love a good deal? Given that we can’t give you an unlimited spending account for books (we wish!), we’ve come up with the next best thing: Goodreads Deals.

Goodreads Deals are selected for you, because they’re based on your individual Goodreads profile. If there’s an exceptional ebook deal for a book on your Want to Read shelf, we’ll let you know. (It’s another great reason to keep your Want to Read list on Goodreads updated!) And, if one of the authors you follow has a not-to-be-missed promotion on an ebook, we’ll make sure you don’t miss out.

Edit: Goodreads also published a second blog post to inform authors and publishers that there are no submission methods or opt-in guidelines at the moment; the ebooks are chosen at Goodread’s discretion.

“This is the first time we’re tapping into our member’s reading interests to offer deals, and it gives them another reason to keep their lists updated,” Chandler told PW. “Now, when books they’ve already added to Want to Read go on sale, we’ll let them know so they don’t miss out.”

Goodreads Deals is currently opt-in; members sign up, select their genres, and then the algorithms do the rest. The deals are offered based on the books a member has on their Want to Read shelf, or on their Already Read shelf. Members will also be shown deals for titles by authors that the member follows on Goodreads.

And of course there is the daily email newsletter, which brings the deals to you.

This is of course not the first time Goodreads has tried to monetize its membership. The social network had already taken to inserting adverts (sponsored posts) in members' update feeds, and they have also collected affiliate fees when directing members to ebookstores.

Coincidentally, today’s Goodreads announcement offers a new clue to last week’s puzzling story about email newsletter Fussy Librarian losing its affiliate status.

As of this morning, Goodreads is a competitor to Fussy Librarian, BookBub, and the other email ebook newsletter services, and clearly Amazon has been taking a closer look at how its competitors have been operating.

And not just a competitor, but also potentially the largest competitor. Goodreads has 50 million members, and if even a tenth sign up then GR will dwarf BookBub.

How many do you think will sign up?

image by Mosman Library


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Fjtorres May 17, 2016 um 11:50 am

A lot, I think.
What I’ve been hearing is Bookbub has been pretty much taken over by the BPHs and medium tradpubs. So anybody interested in Indie deals has to find a new source.

Kurt May 17, 2016 um 11:58 am

ahh, so that’s why most of my choices lately have been backlists and the dead (and the zombie novel of the day of course)

Peter May 17, 2016 um 2:53 pm

Lots (hell, i just did). Interestingly if/when you sign up you not only get to choose what deals you want to get (based on your "want-to-read" shelf, authors you follow, and/or by genre) you also get a choice of which bookstore(s) you want to see deals from – Amazon, Apple, B&N (they still sell books?), Google, Kobo, or some combination of the above.

Maria (BearMountainBooks) May 17, 2016 um 3:41 pm

I hadn’t even seen that I could sign up and I’m on GR every day! But it’s a lot like what ereaderiq has done for years–notify you when a book goes on sale. The difference is that with ereaderiq, I had to individually opt books in. Sounds like GR will have better and easier settings. And if it truly is automated–ie if I put Executive Lunch on sale and people are notified, that’s great. Now if I have to PAY for that notification to go out, that’s not nearly as great because 1. I won’t know how many books are in the newsletter 2. the cost could be prohibitive compared to potential profit 3. probably other things I haven’t thought of yet.

I’ll have to sign up to see how it works!

Nate Hoffelder May 17, 2016 um 4:43 pm

have you found any way for authors and publishers to sign up on the supply side?

Miss M May 17, 2016 um 4:53 pm

There is a parallel blog for authors/advertisers stating promo costs will be announced soon.

And it’s not totally opt-in, depending on a user’s current email settings they may find themselves automatically signed up (you can opt out/refine under a new Deals tab in account settings.) As always, much discussion in the Feedback Group.

Nate Hoffelder May 17, 2016 um 4:54 pm

Yes, thanks!

I just got that from Goodreads PR.

Maria (BearMountainBooks) May 17, 2016 um 5:58 pm

They better hope it works better than their other ads. Those ads did nothing and authors stopped bothering. This does seem like a better idea and more targeted. So it will probably be very expensive, but at least this idea sounds like it might result in some attention/sales.

Darryl May 17, 2016 um 11:42 pm

Interesting. BookBub has been terrible lately. I do remember reading it had been taken over by The BPH’s, but it obviously didn’t sink in. I will be unsubscribing. I have found the Fussy Librarian to be good and I often pick-up one of their deals. And of course I will give this new service a try,

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Maria (BearMountainBooks) May 18, 2016 um 1:25 pm

The first email newsletter didn’t impress. A couple have been on special before (they may be amazon titles, I didn’t check). I selected mystery/thrillers and these were all in that category (although they definitely leaned towards horror/thriller). No cozies, no fun looking books and nothing from my shelf yet.

Straker May 18, 2016 um 8:52 pm

As far as I can see they only give you four genres to pick from – Bestsellers, Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. That’s not nearly enough for fiction and non-fiction (except for bestsellers) is omitted entirely.

Straker May 18, 2016 um 9:29 pm

OK, I just read the details and it does say they’ll be adding more choices eventually. Still, it seems odd to launch with such a narrow range.

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Dovile May 17, 2017 um 7:00 am

I would sign up too, but it’s US only right now.

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