In 2006, posts about a new reading network starting popping up. Goodreads, a place where readers could go to catalog their reading habits, seemed like a fancy, web 2.0 version of a reading journal. And since I’ve never been good with recording my reads, I gave it a miss.
But Goodreads has stuck around–and flourished. I’m now a member, along with over 4,400,000 other people. That’s almost as many people as the entire country of Norway (4, 827,038), Ireland (4,450,446). True, it’s less than 1% of the Facebook users out there–.88% to be exact–but it’s still an impressive number. And in terms of book buyers, it’s way over NYT bestseller territory (100,000 copies or so).
So far, publishers haven’t really gone after Goodreads members. There are some small presses around, giving away copies of their books and getting active in group discussions, but the big houses haven’t so much missed the bandwagon as forgotten it exists. Here’s the breakdown of some of the bigger names on Goodreads:
- Scholastic – 32 friends, 33 books.
- HarperCollins – no presence I can find.
- Simon & Schuster – no presence I can find.
- Hachette – 1 person, no photo, 16 books. Most likely a personal profile.
- Macmillan – “Macmillan Publishers,” 0 friends, 0 books.
- Penguin – “Penguin Press,” 218 friends, 33 books.
- Random House – 0 friends, 0 books.
But Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, seems to be paying attention to the masses of readers eager to get into social networking. Earlier this month, they launched You Are What You Read,
…a unique opportunity for readers all over the world to connect with each other through their shared “Bookprints,” as we celebrate the books that bind us together and make us who we are today.
And the publishing powerhouse is pulling out all the stops–Names You Know, a section of the site featuring, well, names you know, lists Bookprints for the big names, such as Oprah, Alice Walker, Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Daniel Radcliffe, and Kathryn Lasky. Sections for authors, librarians, and educators are also built into the system.Read More