Google to Start Selling Books Online

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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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3 thoughts on “Google to Start Selling Books Online

  1. Just wait until the DoJ subpoenas Google to find out which books you’ve been downloading.

  2. Hi Dan,
    I agree with you, I don’t see the point for most books — but have you ever wished that your book had a better index? Searching the downloadable book sure sounds good, whether it’s for a school project (looking up that key quote and getting the context) or, most especially, for a reference work. If I’m a student, I might want to have an electronic copy — then I can carry the laptop around, and have ALL my books, and if there’s a few I want to have in paper form, I can buy those (but not have to lug them around everywhere). Same for travelers — buy an ebook in the airport, download it by wifi, and read it on the plane, no extra weight to worry about. So I can see some big advantages too.

  3. Did anyone not see this coming? The second I read Google’s scanning scheme, I thought how long until they start selling books.

    I honestly don’t see the point, who would want to stare at a computer screen for the time it takes to read the average book? Not to mention you cannot take it to bed with you to read. Printing it would probably most as much as buying the book in the long run.

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