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Google has announced that they are going to start selling downloadable books online, putting them in direct competition with Amazon’s plans to do the same.
The plans involve partnering with publishers, and allowing them to sell the content of their catalogues by selling access to those books which Google has scanned in under their massive book-scanning project. Google says that they will share the revenue with the publishers, and that the publishers will get the lion’s share of the revenue.
According to a Google spokesperson, “Our goal is to work closely with publishers to make the Partner Program as useful to them as possible. In our discussions with publishers, many of them were excited about experimenting with new and innovative ways to earn more book revenue, and particularly in selling online access to their books. We’re excited to continue our efforts to develop a suite of online tools that will give publishers more options to experiment with.”
No word on how many and which publishers will take part in the program, although they are known to include Taylor & Francis, and Netherlands-based publisher Brill.
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