Finding alternatives to the Behemoth
See all
Members (125)
Peter Maranci's profile photo
Al Clay's profile photo
Alf Aldavan's profile photo
Erika Barrie's profile photo
Evan Saint's profile photo
Andrew Bacchi's profile photo
Andy Miller's profile photo
Angel Rivera's profile photo
Jude Pais's profile photo
Azeema Faizunnisa's profile photo
Erin Fuller's profile photo
Dylan Cross's profile photo
Jenn Wendell's profile photo
Florian Schumacher's profile photo
Brian Kelly's profile photo
Ha ss's profile photo
GN F's profile photo
Carrie Obry's profile photo
Janet Davis's profile photo
Craig Lee Burket's profile photo
Dan Johnson's profile photo
Julia LaBua's profile photo
Danie Krige's profile photo
Edwin Leopold's profile photo

Stream

Join this community to post or comment

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
An interesting look at Amazon's market power and how they use it.
It comes down to this: Amazon has too much power, and it is abusing it.
1
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
It looks as if Amazon hasn't managed to duplicate the success of the Kindle in cell phone form. I'm rather relieved.
 
Amazon has decided to cut the two year contract price of its recently launched Fire Phone in the US down from $199 to just 99 cents on AT&T.
Amazon has decided to cut the two year contract price of its recently launched Fire Phone in the US down from $199 to just 99 cents on AT&T. The deal still includes a free year of Amazon Prime service, which normally costs $99. This move could be an indication that sales of the Fire Phone have been less than successful at the $199 contract price. AT&T Next users have the...
20 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...
 
More news on Colbert vs. Amazon. I wonder if Colbert will be doing this sort of thing on Late Night?
"California" author Edan Lepucki joins Stephen to celebrate her book's arrival on the New York Times best-seller list, thanks in part to the Colbert Nation.
1
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
I can't help but wonder why regulators aren't taking an interest in Amazon's shady business practices. Or perhaps they are, and we're just not hearing about it.
After months of wielding the stick, Amazon is trying the carrot—or at least pretending to—in its feud with Hachette over e-book pricing. Early this week, it sent a letter to “a few authors and agents” with a sugarcoated proposal to “take authors out of the middle” of the dispute. So...
1
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
I thought this might be of interest; Colbert is quite influential, so his public stand against Amazon may actually have some impact.
Amazon wages war against Hachette Book Group, employing tactics that could threaten the livelihood of authors.
1
Nancy Simpson-Brice's profile photoErich W's profile photo
2 comments
Erich W
 
Glad he's bring up this issue
Add a comment...

Dawn E

Discussion  - 
2
Peter Maranci's profile photo
 
It seems quite relevant to me, actually. Thanks for posting it!
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
An interesting, albeit depressing piece.
To many book professionals, Amazon is a ruthless predator; recently, the company has even started publishing books. A monopoly is dangerous because it concentrates so much economic power, but in the book business the prospect is especially worrisome: it would give Amazon more control over the exchange of ideas than any company in U.S. history.
1
Erich W's profile photo
Erich W
 
Amazon is a big problem when it comes to books but we the consumer play a big part as well. eBooks are purchased but have none of the rights as physical books but the costs are almost equal. eBooks are not as readily available as physical books even for new releases a good amount might not be sold digitally even though the book all the way thru production was digital. Amazon also creates it's own ebook version mobi instead of the standard and that keeps it a closed ecosystem. 
Add a comment...

Erich W

Discussion  - 
 
Anyone know which sites can be synced with calibre to manage ebooks
1
Add a comment...
 
Anyone have any advice on using an Amazon Webstore and actually having your listings show up with the same information that's in a typical Amazon result page listing?? Amazon's answers are vague at best and basically make it impossible to update 1500 or so listings. Their answer is essentially fixing the issue 1 by 1.....unbelievable! 
1
1
Michael Stoll's profile photo
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
More trouble in GRamazon, it appears...
When Amazon bought Goodreads it got a community of passionate readers, not all of whom want to follow the new rules
1
Peter Maranci's profile photo
 
I posted a comment over there:

Goodreads/Amazon isn't just deleting reviews over the issues listed in the article. They're also "disappearing" reviews which include criticism of the Goodreads/Amazon deal, or of Amazon itself. What's more, they're doing so in a particularly dishonest way.

I added paragraphs critical of the Amazon acquisition of Goodreads to some of my most popular reviews there. I soon discovered that although I could still see my own reviews when logged in as myself, they were invisible to anyone else! I was eventually informed in a Goodreads forum by a staffer that this would be done for all such reviews. Which means that Goodreads is no longer an unbiased forum or a place for open and free literary discussion. It's a market, nothing more. And the book-lovers who spent hundreds or thousands of hours contributing to GR, unpaid, out of the sheer love of books, are now nothing more than commodities...a herd, in which the rambunctious ones are to be eased out and corralled, well out of view. It's not unlike the "Free Speech Zones" which were invented by the Bush administration.

A large part of the outrage that has inflamed so many Goodreads contributors is this: approximately a year before their sale to Amazon, Goodreads was experiencing a serious crisis. Amazon had withdrawn their permission for GR to include their book data. Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler took to the forums, begging contributors to rally to save the site from the rapacious Amazon.com and re-create the data that was being taken away.

And they did. Thousands of contributors devoted an unknown number of unpaid hours - likely well over a hundred thousand, in aggregate - to re-create that missing data by hand. Their actions may have saved Goodreads. They certainly enhanced its value.

Now, multimillion-dollar deals don't happen on the spur of the moment - not often, anyway. So a year later, when it was announced that Goodreads had been acquired by what we'd all been told was the "enemy", many of us couldn't help feeling confused and betrayed. Had Otis known all along that he'd be selling out to Amazon? Even when he was begging us all to save him and Goodreads from them?

By all accounts he made many millions of dollars from the sale. And without our work, Goodreads wouldn't have been worth a fraction of that price. Otis and his wife walked away with wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. And what did we get? A degraded site that took high-handed and often secret measures to silence dissent and discussion. No wonder many of us are pissed off!

Some of us moved elsewhere. LibraryThing was one popular destination. So too was BookLikes. The pattern was not unlike refugees fleeing a homeland which had been occupied by a sinister regime. Some stayed, and gloried in the new Amazonian rule, of course; there's never any shortage of gullible toadies. Some went on with their lives, either on Goodreads or elsewhere.

I started a community on Google Plus, called "Escaping Amazon". It's no longer very active, but it does include a lot of information on alternatives to shopping with Amazon.com. I started accounts on several other book review sites, too. But I never really got back into writing reviews. Those other sites simply don't have enough activity, or at least not enough for me. They lack the minimum number of users (I suspect) to generate the sort of conversations and feedback that once made Goodreads so much fun.

Instead, I track and review the books that I love in a spreadsheet that I maintain for my son. I won't be anyone's  "product"; I'm a book lover, not a whore. And that's why I left Goodreads.
Add a comment...
 
Looks like Jeff Bezos has decided to treat his Washington Post employees the same way he treats his Amazon employees: by slashing their retirement benefits.
Changes cover nonunion employees, and the company will seek similar changes for union-covered workers.
1
Add a comment...
 
This is what John Scalzi has to say on the battle between Hachette and Amazon.

...and if you are a sci-fi lover and dosen't know who John Scalzi is...look him up ;)
1
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Interesting. I wonder how effective the ad will be? 
In the latest chapter of Amazon’s escalating conflict with the publishing industry, hundreds of major authors have backed an open letter due to run as a full page ad in the New York Times on Sunday that accuses the internet giant of preventing the sale of books published by the Hachette Book Group.
1
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Speak of the devil...but this suit is over the passwords for purchases issue, not their other practices. I wonder how it will end up?
The lawsuit claims that the website made it too easy for kids to charge items to their parents’ credit cards.
1
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Colbert continues his exposure of Amazon.
Stephen continues his ongoing war with Amazon by moving to put Edan Lepucki's "California" on the New York Times best-seller list.
1
1
Erika Barrie's profile photo
Add a comment...

Peter Maranci
owner

Discussion  - 
 
I think most of us pretty much saw this coming; Amazon is abusing their power. How much worse could it get in the years to come, as their market position only gets stronger and their lobbyists get even more influence?
Amazon's power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Now it has started wielding its might in a more brazen way than ever before. Seeking ever-higher payments from publishers to bolster its anemic bottom line, Amazon is holding books and authors hostage ...
1
N. Ew's profile photo
Add a comment...
 
I gave Leafmarks a try. Here are my impressions so far:

Designed by Goodreads expatriates. It has a nice look and is easy to navigate on a large screen. It's not as mobile-friendly as I would like; navigation was difficult on my Galaxy Nexus (phone). It is slow, even on a FIOS connection. I just clicked on one of my bookshelves, and it took about three full seconds to load. On a mobile connection, it's even slower. You'll see the "loading" symbol often while you're on the site.

The site allows importation of Goodreads CSV files only. Importation was fairly speedy and smooth. Internal links in reviews to GoodReads material are NOT stripped. Shelves were imported properly, and I haven't found any errors yet.

Leafmarks does have many of the features that Goodreads had, ones which are missing from many similar sites. You can easily "like" and comment on reviews. Speaking of "liking", it allows you to sign in with your Facebook ID, but you can also create an account directly on the site itself (which I prefer, as Facebook is arguably as bad as Amazon). It's very easy to look up all reviews of a specific book.

You can post "status" updates, which can pretty much be whatever you want; your milage may vary, but I rather like that feature. There is a "Community" tab, but it's currently limited to a list of top reviewers and giveaways; there are no discussion or topic-specific communities that I can find. That would be a nice feature to add.

You can follow reviewers by adding them to your Friends list. There are author pages, although the bibliographies seem incomplete in some cases. I noticed no advertising, nor were there links to sell books as far as I could see. The site is, of course, sparse compared to Goodreads; many of the (admittedly rare) books that I reviewed weren't reviewed by anyone else. But the reviews did seem genuine, and some are quite well-done and interesting.

Overall, I'd say that it's a very promising site!

https://www.leafmarks.com/
3
1
Erich W's profile photoN. Ew's profile photoValeri Zwick's profile photo
5 comments
N. Ew
 
I am using Leafmarks less and less. The site is excruciatingly, mind-numbingly slow and everybody seems to be talking about the same books. Maybe it's just me but I also keep seeing the same people  on every book page...  :/
Add a comment...

N. Ew

Discussion  - 
 
The closest thing to Goodreads I've come across so far:

https://www.leafmarks.com/  (home)
https://www.leafmarks.com/jmak  (example profile)
https://www.leafmarks.com/lm/#/books/119092 (random book)
https://www.leafmarks.com/lm/#/authors/19990 (random author profile)

The site is still in its infancy (and loads way too slow) but it looks promising and I'm really excited for the first time after leaving Goodreads.  :)
2
Peter Maranci's profile photoDylan Cross's profile photo
4 comments
 
For those in the erotica genre, there's a project underway to create a Goodreads replacement.... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Erotica-oriented-bookshelving-website/716180555092763 
Add a comment...
 
Biblio is obviously not a disinterested party, but this article on alternatives to Amazon is interesting and useful nonetheless. The article is a bit outdated, though. It refers to the Amazon/Goodreads conflict, and obviously predates the Amazon acquisition of GR.
1
Add a comment...

Dawn E

Discussion  - 
 
 
An interesting take on things:
Recent Posts. Amazon might lose interest in total hegemony over the book business before they achieve it · Three points worth adding to the excellent account of the Amazon story in The Everything Store · Now HERE is an experiment that looks like it worked and is worthy of replication ...
View original post
2
Add a comment...