[LINK] Google e-bookstores

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Oct 16 01:06:44 AEDT 2009

Google to launch online electronic book store

Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:46am  By Georgina Prodhan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Google plans to launch an online store to deliver 
electronic books to any device with a Web browser, threatening to upset a 
burgeoning market for dedicated e-readers dominated by Amazon's Kindle.

The Web search giant said on Thursday it would launch Google Editions in 
the first half of next year, initially offering about half a million e-
books in partnership with publishers with whom it already cooperates 
where they have digital rights.

Readers will be able to buy e-books either from Google directly or from 
other online stores such as Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com. Google will 
host the e-books and make them searchable.

"We're not focused on a dedicated e-reader or device of any kind," Tom 
Turvey, Google's director of strategic partnerships, told journalists at 
the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The announcement comes a week after Amazon said it would introduce the 
Kindle into 100 countries outside the United States, pushing its leading 
position in a small but fast-growing market in which its competitors 
include Sony's Reader.

Technology research firm Forrester expects about 3 million e-readers to 
be sold in the United States this year, from a previous base of about 1 
million, helped by lower prices, more content and better distribution.

Top U.S. bookseller Barnes & Noble has been reported to be planning an 
entry into the e-reader market to complement a large online bookstore it 
launched in July.

Microsoft had also been rumoured to be planning a reading device, but 
Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said last week it had no need, since it 
already supplied the software that runs the most popular device for 
electronic reading, the PC.

Google Editions will allow Google to make money for the first time out of 
one of its book ventures -- which also include a controversial project to 
scan and index tens of millions of books through partnerships with 

Google will share revenue with publishers, and also with online retailers 
in cases where readers buy Google-hosted books through a retailer's site. 
It already partners with publishers to make their physical books 
searchable and available for sale.

Turvey said Google would give publishers 63 percent of revenues and keep 
37 percent for itself where it sold e-books directly to consumers.

In cases where e-books were bought through other online retailers, 
publishers would get 45 percent and most of the remaining 55 percent 
would go to the retailer, with a small share for Google, he said.

Readers will be able to access e-books they have bought through Google on 
any device including PCs, laptops, netbooks and smartphones like Apple's 
iPhone through their gmail account, Google said.

The device need not be connected in order to read the book, after it has 
been accessed once, and payment can be made to Google through its online 
payment processing system Google Checkout, which stores users' details in 
a personal account


And, elsewhere .. http://www.ondemandbooks.com/home.htm

Harvard Book Store cleared out space behind its History, Politics, and 
Religion sections to make room for the three-foot-by-six-foot-by-four-
foot robot retailer, called the Espresso Book Machine. 

In a public unveiling slated for September 29, the Harvard Book Store 
will become only the second US merchant to install such an apparatus, 
which prints, binds, and trims perfect-bound books -- complete with full-
color covers and black-and-white guts -- in about four minutes.

"Books will be produced on a massively decentralized way," promises Dane 
Neller, CEO of On Demand Books, the manufacturer of the machines that 
will let customers select from millions of titles in less time than it 
takes to comb the teetering stacks of a used bookstore. "The life of the 
book will be infinite."



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