Amazon scoops up Goodreads social network

The giant Web retailer pays an undisclosed amount to acquire the book-reading social network.

bookshelf
Jonathan Skillings/CNET

Amazon agreed today to buy book-recommendation site Goodreads for an undisclosed amount.

The San Francisco-based company should provide Amazon with another way to get readers to buy books from it, both digitally and from its warehouses. Amazon said it also plans to use Goodreads to help authors find readers who might not otherwise know about them.

"Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world," Russ Grandinetti, Amazon vice president of Kindle Content, said in a statement. "In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft."

Goodreads founder Otis Chandler started the company seven years ago, creating a service that's grown to more than 16 million readers who share their favorite and least favorite books with others. In a blog post, Chandler said he sold Goodreads, in part, to tap the "reach and resources" of Amazon. He also noted that Goodreads members have asked for an e-reader experience, something that Amazon will provide with its Kindle.

"You've asked us for a long time to be able to integrate your Kindle and Goodreads experiences," Chandler wrote. "Making that option a reality is one of our top priorities."

Goodreads will remain in San Francisco.

"It's important to be clear that Goodreads and the awesome team behind it are not going away," Chandler wrote. "Goodreads will continue to be the wonderful community that we all cherish."

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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