Google drops the other shoe, plans to sell online books

Google drops the other shoe, plans to sell online books

Summary: And so the Googlization of the world continues. Google announced it would enter the e-book market by letting publishers sell online-access only to their books via the great search engine, as the Wall Street Journal reports.

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And so the Googlization of the world continues. Google announced it would enter the e-book market by letting publishers sell online-access only to their books via the great search engine, as the Wall Street Journal reports. This is key:

Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker said consumers would not be able to download books in the same way Amazon's customers can buy copies of specific titles and store them on their Kindle. Instead, people who access books through Google would be able to read titles online and temporarily cache them in their Internet browsers so they could also read them offline.

And this is also interesting:

Google said it would allow publishers to set their own prices, although the company reserved the right to discount titles at its own expense.

In other words: the books go - probably as html not pdf - onto Google servers, Google collects all manner of usage stats, Google (not the publisher) sets the retails price, conceivably Google runs ads along the content, at a minimum it promotes the books in its search results.

I remember awhile back when newspaper companies were eagerly signing up to have Google and Yahoo take care of their online advertising. I thought that was a bad idea because they were basically handing their customer relationships off to giant multinationals -- and paying for the privilege.

Amazon on the other hand preserves the publisher's branding, cover design, page presentation, and the integrity of the book as a whole unit. More to the point, it preserves the publishers' relationship with their customers.

Oh, and by the way, this is being spun as a way to make publishers happier about the Book Search Settlement, which would give Google exclusive access to publishers' copyright work without having to license it. Publishers should be less than thrilled at this development.

Topics: Browser, Google, Hardware, Mobility

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3 comments
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  • This is going to cause problems.

    First they sell books...

    What comes next?

    Music?

    Video?

    You name it?

    If they were a minor player in the search engine market maybe no problem but as it is a lot of businesses are going to be screaming foul!

    If you want to sell add space based on honest searches you don't sell products! It is an obvious conflict of interest.
    deowll
  • You ask what I think?

    I think it *SUCKS*. For all the reasons you said and more.

    There will be "independents".

    But, they will not have the editiorial review capabilities that the "big houses" have.

    For example, I love Sci-Fi. One author publishes on an Independent site.

    But, his work was not redacted adequately which took away from the pleasure of the read.

    I ***WON'T*** buy from Google. Period!

    And, I am not alone.

    I will especially not voluntarily buy DRM's books that I can not, at will, transfer between my reader, backup device and laptop.

    What a crazy world!

    To willingly sacrifice so much for a moments ease or a quick buck.

    Mike Sr.
    madrucke@...
  • RE: Google drops the other shoe, plans to sell online books

    I don't think competing with your customers is a good idea. At least not if you still want customers.

    This will not make Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders or eBay happy.

    dxhunter@...