BOL to make out-of-print books available

Online bookshop says back catalogue will give it edge over competitors

Books that have been out of print for years will soon be available in a digitally "re-mastered" format over the Internet thanks to German publishing Bertelsmann which last week signed a deal with Xerox to carry out this revival.

Bertelsmann, which owns the online book selling Web site BOL, hopes that this back catalogue of it own titles will give it the edge in the online bookshop wars over competing sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Bertelsmann has also revealed that in the future all its titles will be stored digitally for future generations of literature lovers. Edwin Eichler, a Bertelsmann board member reportedly believes that chronicling literary works is in fact the key to capturing the cash of online book buyers.

"The Web is changing the way books and other media products are sold to an increasingly global market," he said. "Our decision to embrace digital on-demand printing is driven by the growth of the Internet."

British publishing company owned by Bertelsmann Random House also currently has some 50,000 titles out of print and many of these books potentially be included in the project.