17 January 2016

Shelfari Merges with Goodreads: What Authors Need to Know

Announced in January, Amazon will be merging Shelfari and with Goodreads on 16 March 16. We do hate to see Shelfari go simply because of all the great data fields that platform had to help readers find books. However, since Amazon bought Goodreads a while back, it was inevitable that one of the platforms would have to go. Given that Goodreads is infinitely more popular than Shelfari, it wasn't a hard decision for Amazon. 

So, you're an author that's spent time seeding your titles with great data about your book... where will all of this data go? On March 16th, all of your character summaries, important places, tags, and other salient data about your book will be somewhere in a cyber-warehouse never to be seen from again. Shelfari is allowing users to export all of their data in a CSV file up until March 16th. (For those not familiar with this file type, it's basically a universal version of a spreadsheet. You can open CSV files with Microsoft Excel or Open Office's spreadsheet.) To export all of your data, sign into Shelfari and go to this link. Hit the export button and Shelfari will then email you the CSV file within 24-48 hours. We're suggesting that if you've plugged data into the Shelfari system, you go through the export process. You never know when you might need that data somewhere down the road.

You can also export your library to your Goodreads account if you're not interested in saving your user inputted data. If you're not a Goodreads member, you'll have to set up an account to export your Shelfari library. You can signup for a Goodread accounts here. Now that you have a new or previously existing Goodreads account, sign into Shelfari and go to this link. Hit the export button and your Shelfari library will show up within 24-48 hours in your Goodreads account. For a full FAQ of most all things related to the merger, sign in to Shelfari and follow this link.

According to that FAQ, books with these statuses in Shelfari will be able to be found in the coorsponding statuses/sections of Goodreads:

Shelfari                           Goodreads
I plan to read to-read
I'm reading currently-reading
I've read read
Favorites Shelfari-favorites
Own At Goodreads, it will show up under "Owned books"
Wish list Shelfari-wishlists
Tags (e.g. mystery) Shelves will be created with the tag name and books with the tag will be placed in those shelves. If a shelf already exists in Goodreads with a tag name, tags will be prefixed with "shelfari-" (e.g. shelfari-mystery)

Here's the million dollar question that we haven't found a good answer for, will links to books in the Shelfari system redirect to Goodreads after the merger? There's nothing in Shelfari's FAQ about that, so we wouldn't count on it. We're going to keep our present Shelfari links live on our website until there's a definite answer. We also suggest that authors do the same on their websites just in case there are those out there who haven't gotten the word about the merger.

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