Musings, Updates

GoodReads falls to Capitalism

Preface: There is no book review today (because I was way too busy this week to finish a book what with finals coming up soon) and because I have something far more important to discuss today. And no, this cannot wait.

GoodReads has given into the monster that is Capitalism.

Let me first start by stating that I live in America. I am not a published author trying to promote books. I am a reader who believes in promoting the enjoyment of reading to anyone and everyone who shows interest (something we don’t do nearly enough of in America) and now GoodReads is trying to take that away from other countries and is going to make it difficult for self-published authors.

But before I get ahead of myself, let me explain…

If you have not heard yet, GoodReads is updating their giveaway system and it is complete and utter bullshit! This new system has two packages:

1) Standard Package ($199)

  • Giveaway entrants auto-add the giveaway book to their ‘want-to-read’ list
  • GoodReads users w/ the giveaway book on their ‘want-to-read’ list get a notification of the new giveaway
  • Eight weeks post giveaway end, winners receive a reminder email to rate/review the giveaway book they won
  • Giveaways are shown in both the giveaways section on GoodReads and the giveaway book’s page

2) Premium Package ($599)

  • Giveaways get exclusive placement on the GoodReads giveaways homepage
  • All benefits of the Standard Package above

Please note that both packages are for both print books and ebooks so the format of your giveaway will not be an issue. However, let me clarify one thing before you decide this isn’t ‘too bad.’

These prices are for one giveaway each!
You must re-pay these prices for EVERY GIVEAWAY YOU MAKE
!

But that’s not all, ladies and gentleman. Oh no! GoodReads took it a step further with their bullshit by also stating this:

Our new program will initially only be available for giveaways for entrants who are U.S. residents.

AND

Your Kindle ebook must be available in the Amazon U.S. marketplace to run a giveaway on Goodreads. (found here)

Are you fucking kidding me, GoodReads?! No, seriously. This has to be a joke, right?! Because there is no way you truly expect authors to stand for this shit. Oh! And did we completely forget the rest of the world? Did you finally fall into the black-pit of arrogance that is a staple of American culture nowadays by believing that America is the only country in the world?!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

In case you haven’t figured out just exactly what this new ‘plan’ is going to do, let me break it down for you.

  1. Non-American authors will not be able to host giveaways (unless their book is on Amazon U.S.).

  2. Non-American authors can only host giveaways in America, not their home country.

  3. Non-American readers can no longer enter giveaways on GoodReads.

  4. Self-publish authors will now be at a disadvantage because giveaways are controlled by money.

  5. Indie publishers will be at a disadvantage because giveaways are controlled by money.

  6. The Big 5 Publishers will likely be unaffected.

You want to know the funny part about my rant? This doesn’t even affect me at all, which is exactly what I eluded to in my opening statement, but that doesn’t mean I am not furious. That doesn’t mean I will sit by while GoodReads jips its members.

Why?

Because I know international bloggers. I know self-published authors. I KNOW how absolutely selfish, greedy, and pathetic this new plan is and I am willing to call GoodReads out on their shit because that’s exactly what it is. I’m not sure what entitled person sat in a room of other entitled people and decided: “Yes, this is a good idea. We need to set these packages at completely exorbitant prices which supposedly ‘reflect[s] the marketing value we are offering.'” But I know there is plenty of uproar about it and one lovely blogger, Laura @ BookCorps, has shared GoodReads’ survery regarding the new package plan.

But I am telling GoodReads right here and right now,
there will be a Reckoning.

67 thoughts on “GoodReads falls to Capitalism”

  1. It is bloody ridiculous. I don’t care that I can’t enter giveaways anymore but what about the indie authors and publishers??? I am so upset for them. Who is even going to pay this? Seriously though. It is not as if Goodreads has to ship the books. I’m fairly certain authors and publishers do it themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY! All the self-published authors and indie publishers just lost a huge platform to promote on. It’s such a shame!

      Yes, I believe you are correct. GoodReads does not pay for shipping. The author does. Thus, I don’t know why GoodReads would need the money anyway except that they are owned by Amazon and Amazon is honestly buying out and capitalizing anything it can because it’s the epitome of arrogant capitalism. RAWR!

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  2. I too am a US based blogger and I find this to be utterly ridiculous. There are so many international authors/readers/reviewers/bloggers out there and now they are being pretty much cut out of the system by not just Goodreads, but also NetGalley. It is absolutely ridiculous.

    Also, as a self-published author (who is not remotely close to the definition of a “successful author”), I think I may have made about $100 in the past three years from book sales. So there is no way I can afford to participate in Goodreads giveaways. All I can do now is say that if there is ever a reviewer or blogger (US or International), who would like to read my book, I will gladly send you a digital copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! It’s going to force out international everyone AND self-published authors. The only people who can do this are going to be big publishers and they don’t even need a head up above everyone else. It’s just ridiculous as you said. I’m very disappointed.

      I can tell you that plenty of bloggers are going to rally to promote giveaways on their blogs because of this. We will find a way as a community. Even twitter is still a good place to host a giveaway.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you Melanie, and this is a fairly natural progression for a monopoly. Similar to Facebook, who “invited everyone to the party” for free, then locked them into separate rooms thru paywalls (“boosting” posts for $$$ to your audience) this is how Amazon will ultimately become the largest publisher on Earth. For years they opened the floodgates to anyone with no quality control. Unlimited creation and distribution in all formats (Amazon, KDP, CreateSpace, Audible). Then they bought the taste-maker/reviewer platform (Goodreads).

    They let the self-published authors, bloggers, readers, and cults-of-personality do their work for them by taking profit from a bloated, slow-to-change traditional industry. Now, those gates are closing as a function of capitalism. Kindle Unlimited is reducing (most) self-published author profits, and the majority of self-pub authors are essentially collateral damage, because they want to force Big 5 and Indie Publishers into giving them profit for the captive audience they’ve acquired on Goodreads. This is the same way musicians were told in the early 2000’s to give away their albums and do free shows “for exposure”. There are studies linking price of media to perceived consumer value, but that’s a whole different topic…

    Anyway, it’s no surprise the data shows the hottest growing segment for ebooks at Amazon is “Amazon Imprints”. They’ll begin to offer more paid services (editing, proofing, cover design), ratchet down on quality control, and become “agile” publishers who just happen to own the largest distribution chain on Earth. At some point, that will topple the Big 5, or at least change them indefinitely. They’ll have to do what Amazon wants to survive. In fact, Amazon could probably just buy them if the timing was right (like Wholefoods). I read a few articles about 2017 trends showing that self-publishing isn’t the bright shiny thing it used to be. The “gold rush” is over, and self-published and hybrid authors are approaching it with more of a level head, understanding it’s a potentially risky financial commitment. That may mean an overall slowdown in the huge number of self-published books that hit Amazon’s ecosystem each year.

    I sincerely hope Goodreads gets enough flak from their user base to reverse this, but I will believe it when I see it, since I feel like it’s one step in a larger long-term plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holy comments, Batman! 0.0 Okay! settles in to read

      Honestly though, I’d be surprised if even the indie publishers could do anything with those prices because many indie publishers don’t have the capital. They still rely very heavily on their authors to do most of the marketing and that includes giveaways. :/

      I’ve never been one to want to self-publish, but even if I was, I’d move away from Amazon. I would look for any OTHER way to sell my ebook than on Amazon because it’s just total bullshit. You buy out everyone else and then have no competition and can jack up your prices. Gas stations have been playing that game for years and it’s just awful that EVERY market has to do it now to the point where people probably won’t even be able to afford books in the future. God. It really is Fahrenheit 451. (I knew it was predicting the future. I knew that when I read it for the first time last year. I just never though it’d be so soon.)

      Oh, you know it is one step in a larger plan. Soon they’ll start making everyone pay for creating lists or joining groups or having an account. It’ll be so atrocious it won’t even be funny (which is why I need to learn how to code and create BetterReaders. 😉 That way everyone can still have fun. I have heard about another option that’s currently out, but haven’t had time to look into it.) Still, it would be an awful shame to have to forego GoodReads. Some people use it religiously and switching over will be impossible.

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      1. Yeah, I’m sure “GoodReads Prime” is coming in the not too distant future. Fortunately, if it becomes too corporate something else will pop up. There’s also book groups in the vastly more inconvenient “real world”. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahahaah! I don’t use GoodReads for groups. I use it for its database. I like being able to create lists without having to google something and cross link it to some other server. GoodReads is all in one place. It’ll be an awful shame if it goes away.

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    1. RIGHT?! It’s just abhorrent because no self-published author is ever going to be able to compete and giveaways are one of the greatest ways to do promo. It’s just so sad that there are going to classes even in books. I thought we left that crap to politics. RAWR!

      Thankfully, bloggers and Twitter are still great ways to do giveaways and I know plenty of bloggers are going to be uniting (and already are) against Goodreads, especially the international bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just read about this today and it makes me so mad. Goodreads has a survey people can fill out here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/goodreadsgiveaways20
    I filled it out and explained how horrible this is! I also think we should organize a movement to boycott giveaways until they fix this! Think about it: if no one entered giveaways, people wouldn’t pay to list them, and Goodreads would have to change, right? Just my two cents. I totally agree with you that this is such bad news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh! That’s the petition I signed. I didn’t realize it was GoodReads affiliated. Well, good. I hope it is and that means they’re aware of how dumb this is. RAWR!

      I agree it’s dumb and they will lose business because there are plenty of places to do giveaways: blogs, twitter, facebook.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would make a coherent comment but that’s not possible at the moment. $599 for ONE SINGLE giveaway?! What the shit?! I can’t comprehend this right now. Sooooo basically every author everywhere is sending a big one finger salute and will do their own giveaways from now on……. Not that I (as a Canadian) won many books on there, but still, it would be nice to have the chance…… this is too much

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Supposedly the giveaway can be for up to 100 copies of the book, but if you have multiple books?

      I mean, on average, an author is supposed to put out 1 book per year, that’s $599 EVERY YEAR. And if you put out novellas or something in the meantime, you can’t promote those on GoodReads anymore. It’s just total garbage!

      I’ve never won a giveaway on GoodReads either, but the reality isn’t individuals, it’s the principle. Those with money can promote. Those without, cannot. Plain, simple, and completely unfair.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It IS total garbage! No one should feel as though they have to spend 600$ to give away and promote their books! Not to mention it’s making literally the entire world feel left out. I wonder if this is a ploy to make publishers and authors more responsible for their own book promotion? If so, then it’s sad as Goodreads whole existence is to help readers find more books. Honestly though, I’ve been exposed to more books through YouTube and book bloggers than I ever have been with Goodreads so if authors decide to take other avenues, it won’t effect me much at all!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s so dumb. If GoodReads didn’t want to do giveaways anymore, then they should just stop it altogether. This bullshit is just pathetic and shows poor judgment.

          I don’t personally use GoodReads to find new books, but I use it as a resource to catalog books I’ve read, want to read, and own. It’s also a great place to look up blurbs and other stats for books that I’ve been told about. THAT is what GoodReads should be. :/ If they are having difficulties with funding or something then start taking donations. Don’t steal money from authors through this shit. Ugh.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that I was able to post it and that people are responding to it. People need to be angry about this. They need to inform GoodReads that this is a scandal and shows just how little they truly care about readers and authors. Garbage!

      And I’ll tell you who came up with it: a bunch of greedy-ass people who care more about lining their pockets than about promoting reading. is on fire like Hades’ hair

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Angela, this is why you and I get along. 😀

      It is total bullshit and I cannot honestly come up with any rhyme or reason why GoodReads would do something like this. It’s just totally asinine and is going to hurt them more than it helps them. Obviously someone is starting to care way too much about money.

      The ironic part is that if Net Neutrality gets nixed in America, most of the AMERICANS who would be on GoodReads will no longer be there because they can’t afford the extra site addition. It’s so dumb!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Are you sure about this? I’m in the UK and ebooks have never been available in Goodreads giveaways. It’s always been UK publishers offering physical copies. I’ve always assumed they just had different systems for different regions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fact-checked everything with what the GoodReads site said. All my quotes are from the GoodReads announcement/FAQ. No where else. So, I fully believe this is what they are saying and I have seen lots of giveaways on Goodreads that were previously international. Perhaps it depends on the book?

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      1. Hmm. I’ve had a Google myself and it looks like you’re right. There is no mention however of what they’re planning outwith US. I can’t believe they’d just shut it down and certainly it doesn’t sound like any of the UK indie authors have heard of this.

        Ah well, if you’re in the UK and looking for giveaways try ReadersFirst. I’ve had a lot more success with them anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The mention about international giveaways wasn’t so obvious. And it wasn’t in the announcement post. To find out more about that, I read through their FAQ and also an author had a direct message from Goodreads themselves. (That message is on the blog I linked to at the bottom of my page.) IT is quite a shame, but I’m happy to hear there are other options out there. It’s still just sad that they have to cut ties with other countries. :/ It’s so isolationist.

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    1. Oh, that’s right! You’re from Canada, aren’t you, Lauren? See, and that’s just total B.S. I could understand shipping overseas might be more expensive, but GoodReads doesn’t even pay for shipping anyway so what on EARTH is the point of nixing all non-American participants?! I really do not understand it. (And those prices are over-the-top for what they are offering. Were I an author, I’d start reaching out to bloggers to host giveaways and say ‘to hell’ with GoodReads.)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ugh. That’s such a shame. Though, Flavia seems to get lots of ARCs from the Canadian versions of the publishers, I think. Maybe you can talk to her about how she gets ARCs? (I’m an awful person to talk to. :p I’m so bad at getting them. HAhaha!)

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              1. You and me both! I have about 250 books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet (cause ya know, I keep buying more). So I do a lot of reading of stuff that wasn’t published within the last year lol

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. Hmm it won’t let me reply to you so I have to reply to myself we must’ve hit a nesting limit?

                      Genetics! That sounds fascinating and way over my head haha. That’s the problem! I could go a couple of different ways – I definitely want to do an MLIS at some point in the future. I think a Masters in Legal Studies so I could study copyright law would also be fascinating. But I could also do an MEd or an MA in either English or Religion…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Lame! I didn’t think we’d commented that much already. Hahahha! (I just reply from the notifications panel. It totally negates the nesting aspect. 🙂 )

                      Wow! Those sound really cool. I could never do law. I’d totally misunderstand everything. So, I understand your reaction to science. Hee hee! Everyone is good at different things and I think it’s awesome you want to pursue higher education. Would it help you with your job or do you just think it would be nice? 🙂

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                    3. OMG I didn’t know that was a thing I could do until now hahaha. Yay learning!

                      Well I work in copyright right now so I reckon that’s one area of law I’d be able to understand – but we’ll find out cause I applied to a free Harvard Law online class on copyright law for next semester won’t find out if I get to do it until January though haha.

                      At this point it’s probably just a nice to have but would also help should I ever want to move on. (I LOVE my job but say I want to move to the UK one day, a masters degree would help with that haha)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Hahaha! Glad I was able to help out. 🙂

                      Ohh! Very exciting. Law seems so complicated! But I’m glad you understand it. We always need people who understand law. 🙂

                      That is very true. I’ve been actually debating moving to Canada and you need a Bachelor’s to do so, but having a PhD would make me look extra nice. :p

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                    5. I’m looking at Ontario. Not sure where, but I have some friends that in that area (flavia for one) and a writer friend for another. 🙂 They want me to come over to the Maple-y side. Hee hee!

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            1. I have heard that Netgalley is making things a little difficult, but aren’t they still separate from GoodReads technically? I’m not sure if this will affect Netgalley, but I have heard rumors (from the blogger I commented about in this post) that Netgalley is doing less and less for international acceptance. :/ It’s so stupid. The internet has no boundaries so why should marketing??

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yeah, I heard the same…yeah they are separate.I don’t have any idea why NetGalley is doing this, what is good in restricting the acceptance numbers for International bloggers…I am not getting any of this…Even on netgalley many publishers already have this preference, many of my requests are declined because I don’t live in UK/US, but I was like it is okie, there are many others who give approval, Seems like it going to be harder…

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  7. I feel the exact same way that you and all the international bloggers feel. I hope that this changes someday soon.

    Like

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