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Google Editions, Google's new digital book sales program, will launch this summer. Google is still fighting in court for the right to offer out-of-print works for free.  (Source: Paper Pills)
Google is ironing out all the fine details of its digital book sales scheme

Google began scanning books and newspapers into its digital archive, Google Books, in 2004.  While the public loved having instant access to classics, out of print titles, and more, publishers weren't so thrilled.  In 2005, the Authors Guild of America and Association of American Publishers brought suit against Google for "massive copyright infringement".

The authors' groups and Google finally made peace after lengthy negotiations.  As part of the agreement that was reached, Google would offer to sell the digital books that it was previewing.

That plan is about to be executed this summer.  Speaking to a publishing industry panel in New York City, Chris Palma, Google's manager for strategic-partner development, announced that Google Editions, it's new sales service, will land in June or July.

Google believes that it can compete with veteran players Amazon and newcomers Apple andBarnes & Noble, thanks to its unique approach.  Unlike its rivals, Google will be offering its service across a variety of sites (with one central store site) and will try to make its digital books available for as many different devices as possible, not just one.

Google is still working out pricing, but the rough plan is that books sold through its central site (stored on its servers) would be sold with a cut going to Google and a bigger cut going to the authors/publishers.  Book sold on other sites using Google Edition technology will feature an even bigger cut for the authors/publishers.  This should help small independent publishers launch their own sales sites.

The books will be able to be viewed in the browser using Google web software.  Details about this are scarce at the moment.  It is unknown, for example, if the software will work with mobile internet devices like the iPad, which don't allow certain web technologies like Flash.

The competition should benefit the industry.  Evan Schnittman, vice president of global business development for Oxford University Press states, "This levels the retail playing field.  And as a publisher, what I like is that I won't have to think about audiences based on devices. This is an electronic product that consumers can get anywhere as long as they have a Google account."

By pushing users away from proprietary platforms, Google believes it can force Amazon, Apple, and others to be more open.

In a separate battle Google is still fighting in court to try to win the right to post out of print books.  Publishers who own the rights to these titles, but refuse to publish them have sued Google.  U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin is expected to rule on the case soon.



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RE: I would like to care....
By Rugar on 5/5/2010 4:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I go through a lot of paperbacks and I also am known to frequent the used bookstores. The major incentive for me to get a Nook was that our regional library offers a pretty decent selection of e-books on their web page. Add to that the growing collection of free ebooks available on the web and I can essentially read hundreds of books for free with the ultimate in internet convenience now that the initial investment is done.


RE: I would like to care....
By hydrata on 5/5/2010 5:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
For the most part I agree with you. It is a large investment.
I'm not too familiar with these gadgets, but I am about to enroll in graduate school and if I was able to have my textbooks and supplemental pdfs on these devices where I could bookmark pages, take notes, and highlight, I would consider that VERY convenient and beneficial.
My back, alone, would appreciate not carrying 4-5 individual textbooks.
Yet due to the price and changing products, I'm witholding.
Guess the workout from lugging textbooks will be good for a workout.


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