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A Match Made in Book Heaven? Amazon to Acquire Goodreads

The online retail giant announced plans to buy the social network for bookworms.

Online retail giant Amazon announced Thursday it plans to acquire Goodreads, a social network for book lovers.

While the terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, Amazon vice president Russ Grandinetti explained that the acquisition was a no-brainer: “Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike,” he said in a presss statement

Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler and his wife, Elizabeth, launched Goodreads in 2007. Today, the company said it has more than 16 million members. In addition to providing a forum for peer-to-peer book recommendations, Goodreads hosts more than 30,000 online book clubs and connects readers with approximately 68,000 authors—a connection that both Chandler and Grandinetti appear to value.

Jon Callaghan, founder of True Ventures, which invested early in Goodreads, said: “[The Goodreads team is] incredibly passionate about their business. They love reading and authors. It shows in their product demeanor. They were building a company for the long-term. They focused on doing the right thing for the user base, for authors and for readers.” He also added that the deal is a “phenomenal outcome for True.”

In a blog post on the company’s website, Chandler said that the team behind Goodreads will not be going anywhere—literally. The company will remain at its San Francisco, California headquarters (Amazon is based in Seattle, Washington). The most noticeable changes, Chandler said, will come in the form of benefits to Goodreads’ members.

“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.”

The ink will reportedly be dry on the deal by the end of the second quarter of this year.

Last updated: Mar 28, 2013


Francesca Fenzi reports on entrepreneurship, technology and small business news from San Francisco. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, USA Today, Pop City and The Northside Chronicle.

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