Goodreads, owned by Amazon, has recently started its own Discount eBook Service. As Amazon hasn’t left any major e-book competitors – obviously the retailer has decided that it does not need the help of e-book ad campaign sites. Websites such as Pixel of Ink helped in the past to drive sales through massive email lists and users who browse their sites.
In 2013 Amazon discouraged these sites from promoting the download of free ebooks by not paying affiliate fees (which is somehow logic) – but now they discontinued affiliate fees for promoted books. Several ebook discovery sites have had their Amazon affiliate memberships revoked.
Excerpt From Goodreads’ Site:
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Crackdown on Outside Book Influencers.
Publishers pay merchandising fees to get their books featured on bookstore displays. The same thing happens online with book blasting sites, such as BookBub,BookGorilla, Pixel of Ink, Fussy Librarian, Bargain Booksy, eReader iQ, BooksEnds, RobinReads etc. See my article from two weeks ago about a review of these book promoting sites: Who Offers the Best Value for Your Dollars.
Now Amazon wants to limit tools who could influence their storefront, cracking down outside promotional forces that have developed huge amounts of influence on their bestseller list – and certainly lots of promotion for the company. Amazon thinks they will eventually make more money, having bestseller lists that are not altered by those outside book promoters.
The first to lose its affiliate status with Amazon was Fussy Librarian, just the week before Goodreads announced their program, followed by two more sites, Pixel of Ink and eReaderIQ. And the next one who gets the boot could be BookBub, I assume.
Bestseller author Hugh Howey : “It could be that Amazon wants in on the BookBub market. It’s all about curation and having control over all the bestseller list rankings.”
And further: “The money angle just doesn’t make sense to me. Nor is the idea that you get rid of these promo sites just to get rid of them. They are all funneling sales into Amazon. So it has to be about control. And control of what? Which books are given a jolt on the lists.”
Another voice from author Maria Romana in the comments: “There’s no reason to believe their elimination of these book review / promo sites (via cutting off their primary source of income) is anything other than an attempt to remove competition from their new toy, Goodreads, and to gain control of the book promotion market.” While another commenter says: “Amazon in its move to finally make a profit is done paying to promote its dominant Kindle ecosystem. The goal now is to have an affiliate program with no one in it, giving Amazon the pretence of supporting a community without any need to pay people for what they will do anyway.”
Fussy Librarian continues to operate, plus for free books on their Reddit site are no book review requirements – but the fate of the other sites is less certain. Pixel of Ink announced already that they have shut down…