Tech Flash is reporting that Google is going to sell digital books. Putting aside the issues with Google’s book scanning initiative which has many problems, this is a good thing. To have some more outlets and break Amazon’s initial stranglehold on distribution and forced low prices is a good thing. Obviously, we’ll see how it works out. The WSJ notes that there is some candy for the small independent store which sounds promising.
Google says its new service—called Google Editions—will allow users to buy digital copies of books they discover through its book-search service. It will also allow book retailers—even independent shops—to sell Google Editions on their own sites, taking the bulk of the revenue. Google has yet to release details about pricing and which publishers are expected to participate.
TechFlash notes that Amazon is making an end run around publishers to talk with agents and authors trying to have them sell the electronic rights directly to Amazon. I’m not sure this is such a great idea, especially since it is platform dependent. Publishers perform more than just distribution. We will see how this shakes out.
Is Amazon.com trying to do an end-run around publishers for Kindle book rights? The Bookseller reports the online retail giant has been pursuing U.K. literary agents and authors, urging them to sell electronic book rights directly to Amazon. That follows a report from Crain’s in November that Amazon flew a dozen top New York literary agents to its Seattle headquarters for meetings.
It looks like there is some push back on the e-readers from publishers. According to TechFlash publishers think e-reader sales should come between hard backs and paper backs. We will see how this works out. The film industry is fighting this battle right now with studios wanting simultaneous release on all channels. Will there be someone who blinks first and goes simultaious?
It’s a sign that parts of the book publishing industry are hardening their opposition to the widespread retailer practice — spearheaded by Amazon.com — of selling electronic versions of new release books at a heavily discounted $9.99.
Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group are the two publishers delaying more titles. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy told the Journal that the “right place for the e-book is after the hardcover but before the paperback,” acknowledging that some readers will be “disappointed” by that timeline. Upcoming Simon & Schuster titles affected by the new policy include Don DeLillo’s “Point Omega” and the Karl Rove memoir “Courage and Consequence.”