I’m Building a Goodreads Competitor out of Spite

@adamAvatar for @adam

By Adam Fortuna

2 min read

It started as a Tweet, moved over to a brainstorm and now it’s actually happening.

As a joke, I tweeted out a random thought: that I was annoyed at Goodreads and should make a competitor out of spite for Amazon. A “spite site”, as Larry David would say.

I’ve used Goodreads since 2009. Every book I’ve read since then has been tracked, as well as over 400 books on my “to read” list that I’ve added over the years. During that time Goodreads has barely changed – at least for anything I use. The only change that’s impacted me in the last year has been the removal of their API which further locked in people using their service.

One of my personal goals for this year is to give less money to Amazon. We’ve switched to buying local or direct when we can, canceled Amazon prime, and even moved some web hosting off EC2/S3 (that was the most annoying). As an avid reader and audiobook listener, moving off of Amazon for books has been the hardest part. That would even mean switching off Goodreads – if I even could.

I began searching for alternatives. There are a LOT of sites out there trying to be the next Goodreads. A look at Product Hunt and Indiehackers shows there’s no shortage of people who have attempted this exact same idea.

Some are seriously impressive, but so far none have taken over. By my calculations, the total market share of all non-Goodreads book organization sites is maybe 2% of GR’s total monthly visitors – and 1.5% of that is LibraryThing. That last 0.5% is where all the innovation in the online book community is happening!

I’m just spinning up on this idea, but I’m excited to see where it goes.

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