It appears that book-recommendation service, Goodreads had been in talks with Apple to integrate its service with the latter's iBookstore, before being acquired by Amazon.
A report by The Wall Street Journal suggests that Goodreads and Apple were in talks on bringing Goodread's reviews and ratings appear within iTunes' iBookstore when users searched for a book title. The report cited people familiar with the talks to inform that the talks didn't reach a conclusion, and when Apple executives tried to reach Goodreads again, it had got close to Amazon which insisted that it stopped talking to other companies.
The report also suggests that an Apple executive not part of iBooks approached Goodreads to explore 'other options' but Goodreads refused.
It's worth pointing out that Apple offers its own Ratings and Reviews under iBooks but they're not integrated with social networks. Integrating with a third party site would help Apple bring a wider range of reviews and recommendations, including reviews from critics and celebrities, and in promoting community based reading. Apple has already integrated reviews from Rotten Tomatoes in its Movies store.
Last month, Amazon had acquired Goodreads for an undisclosed amount, with an intent to integrate book recommendations, complementing reader reviews provided at Amazon.com's online shop for digital book titles.
Since launching in early 2007, Goodreads has grown to boast more than 16 million members and 30,000 book clubs. Features at Goodreads include tracking books read, discovering new titles, and connecting directly with authors.
Goodreads will remain in San Francisco, according to Amazon.com, which has its headquarters in Seattle.
The acquisition was a bit of a blow to Apple whose digital books service iBooks, competes with Amazon's Kindle book store and Google's Play Store through which Google offers digital books.