Could Edelweiss+ become a Contender for the Goodreads Replacement?

With book lovers beginning to turn away from the Amazon-run Goodreads app and website, the hunt for a replacement of the same or extremely similar–or even better–value and experience is becoming more prominent.

An unexpected choice has plopped itself into the mix of contenders, and I have to say, I’m not upset or even surprised by the option.

Edelweiss+ is mainly known as the lesser-liked version of NetGalley. First and foremost, it’s a service that allows book reviewers and book industry workers to have access to digital books and unpublished manuscripts–either in the form of audiobook or digital galley. However, with its most recent updates and server fixes, it’s become an unlikely placement holder for the Goodreads replacement race.

Screen Shot 2021-10-10 at 11.59.03 AM
Edelweiss Communities–featuring the snowflake logo that’s used to access the subpage.

Edelweiss+ has started a focus on their community aspects. They’ve created an entire subpage dedicated to “communities,” otherwise akin to the Goodreads Groups. Along with that, there are multiple categories to explore, such as:

  • The “Buzz” which features what books are currently making waves in the book industry far and wide
  • Events
  • New review copy announcements
  • And plenty more

Depending on what community groups you’re in, you can also join or start conversation threads. A recent one that popped up on my sidebar was for the book A Terrible Fall of Angels because a fellow B&N employee had a question regarding it.

The Big Question–Why Don’t People like Edelweiss+?

There’s no simple answer for this, because it depends all on the person answering it. For someone, it could be that it’s a new app to them and they’ve no idea how or where to begin in accessing or learning to use it. For others, it could be that they just don’t like its setup. Another reason could be that there’s less of a chance at getting approved for digital galleys on Edelweiss+ than there is on NetGalley. There’s even the consideration that it’s more for book industry workers or those involved in the book community than it is for “everyone”–but this is becoming less and less of a consideration as Edelweiss+ continues to update and reshape its servers.

The main thing is, when it comes to comparing Edelweiss+ to Goodreads, they have no idea that it’s even an option. At one point in time, Edelweiss+ was nowhere near similar to Goodreads, but the changes that it’s undergone within the last year alone have drastically enhanced the server and all of its features.

Sure, Edelweiss+ might not host the infamous impossible-to-win giveaways that Goodreads has, but it does have so many of the features the book lover’s app has failed to update in the past couple years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Edelweiss+ added giveaways, or even a new type of bigger awards feature than its regular “nominations,” to its service within the next months or years.

Could You Tell Me ALL of the Features Edelweiss+ has in Common with Goodreads?

But, of course! Here’s an extensive list:

Screen Shot 2021-10-10 at 12.43.02 PM
Edelweiss+ review feature. On the left is the Overall review rating system, featuring multiple subrating categories. In the middle is the written review, and on the right is the sharing options. At the very bottom is the box to tag the themes of the book.
  • Reviews
    • Edelweiss+ has a fantastic review system, starting with the main review of the book and then divulging into the sub-ratings.
      • I.E.: Writing Quality, “Couldn’t Put It Down”-ness, Character Development, Originality, etc.
    • Edelweiss+ also gives you the easy option to share your review directly with the Publisher, along with your colleagues, friends, etc. It also allows you to tag the books themes within the same box.
    • Though, I will make a note that Edelweiss+ runs on a 1-10 rating system, so it may be a bit confusing to users who’ve never had experience with that.
      • It’s fairly easy to use–especially for those readers who rate based on the “vibes” they get from the book.
        • For example, a three-star review would become a six-star review on Edelweiss+ due to the number increase.

          Screen Shot 2021-10-10 at 12.46.12 PM
          Edelweiss+ shelving options. From top to bottom: anticipating, highly anticipating, currently reading, finished reading, did not finish, favorites and clear.
  • Shelves
    • Edelweiss+ has a really nice shelving feature, where you can mark a book under several different tags.
      • I.E.: Currently Reading, Read, Did Not Finish, etc.
      • It also provides shelves for the “Anticipating,” “Highly Anticipating” and “Favorites” options for those books that you just cannot wait to get your hands on and read.
  • Friends
    • Edelweiss+ has a Friend-ing feature, in which you can send and receive friend requests just like you would on Goodreads. Upon the friend request being approved, you will then be able to see the books those people have reviewed, favorited, or are anticipating.
      • Edelweiss+ also gives you exact numbers of how many titles that person has shelved!
  • Personal Profile
    • Edelweiss+ allows you to create and update consistently your personal profile.
      • If you’re a blogger, it even allows you to specify as freelance, and this also applies to those with no ties to the book industry or communities. If you’re a bookseller–depending on if you work for a chain or independent bookstore–it’ll also allow you to specify through any of those options. And the same also applies to librarians or other book industry workers.
    • Funnily enough, Edelweiss+ allows you to use several linking features as well–even to Goodreads!
  • Communities/Groups
    • Even though Edelweiss+ has a communities subpage featuring group-like additions, it’s entirely different from Goodreads’ editions, in that it’s more advanced and has more features within them.

Okay, then What’s the Difference?

Like previously stated earlier, this service was and still is known to be more for book industry workers and book community users. Along with that, it is still building its community systems, so it is lacking in things like awards, giveaways, quotes, ask the author, trivia & quizzes, creative writing, etc.

But what it’s currently lacking, in my personal opinion, is made up for by the option to have access to download or request digital galleys and audiobooks. Edelweiss+ is slowly but surely making it an option to even request PRINT galleys, which is something NetGalley has never offered and could also make up for the lack of giveaways that Goodreads provides.

Don’t get me wrong, Edelweiss+ still is set up to be first and foremost book industry professionals and workers, but when it comes to all these new additions, it could open the doorway for a more open and inclusive replacement to Goodreads.

Would You Suggest It?

Absolutely, 100%. I use Edelweiss+ every day, be it for the reviews section, accessing newly unreleased titles, or even the new community subpage. It’s a service I love to use, and I would highly suggest joining if you haven’t already done so.

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