Are Goodreads Deals now opt-in? Check your settings

goodreads_dealsI got an email from Goodreads Deals today telling me that Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan was on sale for $1.99. My response was was not happiness, but a rush of anger and a complaint email to GR customer service. Since I had previously opted out of these notification emails, I was not a happy camper.

Granted, getting put on an email list I did not sign up for is one of my pet peeves. But a lot of my anger in this particular situation was because this is the second time that Goodreads has signed me up for a list that I did not want. The last time this happened, I also wrote an email complaining about their actions. Goodreads’ response to that email came across as uncaring – after all, as they explained, all I had to do was go into my account and change my settings. Never mind the fact that they sent me something that I did not want and had not signed up for.

After the last email, I specifically went into my listings and changed all my newsletter and mailing preferences to state that I did not want these kinds of email notifications.

When Goodreads started the Deals newsletter, the feature was supposed to be opt-in. This description is from May 20, 2016 in the The Verge:

Goodreads Deals is an opt-in feature that analyzes user data (looking at individuals’ favorite reads, authors, etc), before emailing out relevant ebooks when they go on sale. “If one of the authors you follow has a not-to-be-missed promotion on an ebook,” says the company in a blog post announcing the service. “We’ll make sure you don’t miss out.”

Notice that description says “opt-in”. Now, let’s consider that phrase opt-in for a moment.

Marketing site Click Z has this definition for opt-in:

Just to be clear, opt-in means that the recipient has knowingly given you, the sender, permission to communicate with them via e-mail. An easy test to determine whether or not your e-mail is opt-in is to ask yourself if the recipient will be expecting to receive e-mail from you. If so, it’s opt-in. If not, it isn’t.

Was I expecting to get that email from Goodreads? Absolutely not. I had previously opted out in my email settings on my account and had even written them a complaint letter about unsolicited newsletter signups. So I had no reason to expect that I would receive this kind of an email from them and every reason to expect that I would not find something like this in my inbox.

That Click Z article goes on to note that it is not against CAN-SPAM rules to send opt-in emails. It’s not illegal, but it certainly is not best practice to do so. Goodreads privacy policy says that a user can opt-out from “email messages regarding updates, improvements, or offers.” It seems pretty apparent that while Goodreads Deals was originally promoted as opt-in, it has evidently become opt-out.

The insult-to-injury part was that I already own Altered Carbon. It is actually one of my all-time favorite books. So I wouldn’t have signed up to be notified about a book I already own. It seems pretty apparent that while Goodreads Deals may have originally been promoted as opt-in, in practice, it has evidently become opt-out.

I haven’t heard back from Goodreads yet, but after the unconcern expressed the last time I dealt with them on this issue, I am not expecting much from them other than being told I can, of course, opt-out. < /sarcasm> Of course, I have done that before and we see how far that got me….

I would advise checking your Goodreads settings. And, if you don’t want to receive these kinds of emails, I suggest that you specifically opt out of the deal emails. To do so, go to Account Settings>Deals and uncheck all the boxes.

Who knows? It may actually work…for a while.

How about you? Have you gotten any unwelcome emails from Goodreads?

Daily Links and Deals: If Barnes and Noble goes out of business, it’ll be a disaster for book lovers

daily_links_1Today, a look at the troubled stated of Barnes and Noble and what the chain’s demise would mean for the book world. Also, Ticketmaster lost a class action suit and is giving out free tickets and discounts, Netflix changed its logo (gasp!) and much more. In deals, there is a Black and Decker Flex vacuum and a Heather Graham ebook boxed set on sale.

Daily Links for Tuesday, June 21, 2016:

Ticketmaster Is Giving Out Millions of Free Tickets (Here’s How to Get Yours)… (Digital Music News) If you bought tickets online form Ticketmaster you may have some discounts and freebies coming….

Pulp Friction: If Barnes & Noble goes out of business, it’ll be a disaster for book lovers.(New Republic) A look at what the book world would be like without Barnes and Noble.

Netflix just changed its icon [Updated] (The Next Web) And here is an article on why we react the way we do when Netflix and Instagram change their logo.

PlayStation Vue is now available on Roku (The Verge) Yay! More choice for cord-cutters. Since I didn’t like Sling TV, I have been wanting to try this one on my Roku.

US Ad Blocking to Jump by Double Digits This Year (eMarketer) Ad blocking is not going away, no matter what publishers want.

New Google Prompt two-factor authentication method is built into Android, available on iOS (9 to 5 Google) Google is making 2FA much easier to use… and safer.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters Series Volume 1: Phantom Evil\Heart of Evil\Sacred Evil\The Evil Inside (Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters Series Box-Set) for $4.99.

In Today’s Deals, a BLACK & DECKER BDH2020FLFH MAX Lithium Flex Vacuum with Stick Vacuum Floor Head and Pet Hair Brush. 

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Cashelmara by Susan Howatch for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Seduce Me in Dreams (Three Worlds Series #1) by Jacquelyn Frank for 99 cents.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The 6th Extinction: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins for $3.99. The Extra Daily Deal is Timeless Fracture by Thaddaeus Alexander for $2.99.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes My Life Deleted by Scott Bolzan for $1.99.

Google has a Limited-Time Deals promotion.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.