Online digital book club Goodreads was to be purchased by Amazon a few weeks ago for $200 million dollars if performance goals are met. When the whole deal was going down, Apple was actually in negotiations to buy the company. Amazon insisted that Goodreads break off talks with all of their potential suitors, while a deal was being done.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “Over the past year, Apple and Goodreads had begun discussing integrating Goodreads’ service, which allows users to share and rate what they are reading, into Apple’s iBookstore, which sells digital books, according to people familiar with the matter. Goodreads had proposed its reviews and ratings appear within iTunes when users searched for a title, one of the people said. ITunes has already integrated Rotten Tomatoes movie ratings in such a way. Apple was entertaining the idea, but talks didn’t progress much, two of the people said.”
Amazon promises to run Goodreads as an autonomous entity and still allow other companies to use its API to fetch book reviews and ratings. Kobo and Sony both currently use this system, instead of developing their own solution. This whole situation is a shot in the arm for many online booksellers that depend on the Goodreads API to fetch all of the book review data. Sony announced yesterday a new agreement with idreambooks to replace Goodreads on its site for ratings and book reviews.
It is unclear on what Apple’s next gambit will be, as the company is competing with Amazon now more than ever.