Goodreads Incorporated Into Amazon’s New Kindle Fire

by Phyllis Zimbler Miller

In the September 25th Wall Street Journal article “A Kindle Fire Refresh” by Greg Bensinger this small paragraph heralds big changes:

Also new to the devices is integration of book recommendation and sales site Goodreads, which the company bought earlier this year.

Ever since Amazon bought Goodreads I have been expecting that Goodreads will now become more important to authors marketing their books. But this incorporation into new Kindle Fire devices is definitely a game changer.

Why is this news important for people who have online businesses as well as online components of offline businesses?

Because any innovation of online cross-promotion can spark ideas for your own business. And you may not need to buy another business in order to undertake cross-promotion.

As an exercise in marketing, consider what kinds of companies you might partner with in order to reach new audiences and increase sales. Note that I am not talking about affiliate relationships but instead true marketing partnerships.

In brainstorming about this topic with a client recently, I pointed out that the important question was whether a cross-promotion would actually motivate the target audience to buy the product. After all, publicity is good, but sales is the ultimate goal.

Clearly in the case of Goodreads being incorporated into Kindle Fire the goal is to motivate book sales. Whether it will do so is another thing.

(In my own anecdotal experience, the reviews of a book on Goodreads tend to be harsher than on Amazon. It often seems as if the people reviewing books on Goodreads are frustrated authors who believe they could have written a better book. Whether these kinds of reviews motivate book purchases will be interesting to see.)

The Internet allows businesses to link with other businesses throughout the globe. What businesses would be your ideal partners in cross-promotion?

© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company

She is also the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy story CIA FALL GUY.

Click here to visit her Amazon author page for her fiction books at

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous September 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm

What bothers me about Goodreads is that people are allowed to rate a book without writing a single word as review.

I don’t mind negative reviews– but I want to believe that the person actually READ my book.

Goodreads is so horribly unuser-friendly, frankly I haven’t been there in months.


Valley Brown September 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Excellent points and questions, Phyllis. Will linkage between a book review site and a book interior be interesting enough to the readers to follow it, or will they simply ignore it as only so much additional advertising thrown at them? My gut reaction is that it will largely be ignored, especially if they can see a few review blurbs by recognizable names already attached to the book interior. I doubt they will want to see any other corporate hype inside their book, either. When a reader escapes into a story, they are seeking to exclude everything else in their world.


Phyllis Zimbler Miller September 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Valley — I just don’t know what I think about how effective this will be in terms of book purchases.

I actually have a Kindle with a book ad on the screen in “rest” mode and I almost never click to learn more. But maybe lots of people do?


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