Saturday, October 17, 2009

Google starts new chapter in the battle for e-books; Independent, 10/17/09

Independent; Google starts new chapter in the battle for e-books:

"Google has opened a new flank in the war for the e-book market as executives this week flew to Germany to sweet-talk publishers into joining their imminent online book store.

The latest drive to dominate digital titles could set it up for a bitter battle with Amazon. Some, however, believe the announcement was little than a political manoeuvre by the web giant, which is also embroiled with publishers in court battles over its Google Book Search project to digitally archive the world's libraries.

The rise of the e-book has dominated talk at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, and it hit fever pitch when the technology giant revealed its plans for Google Editions next year.
A spokesman for the web giant said: "Google's whole business is based around helping people find the information they need. A large amount of information is not on websites, it is in books, and we want to make sure that these books are not forgotten."

The plan is to launch an online bookstore with about 500,000 titles available to anyone with a web browser in the first half of next year. Google will sell the books itself – taking 37 per cent of the revenues and handing the rest to the publishers – or act as an access point for users to buy through another online retailer with Google keeping a small share of the sales. It wants to create partnerships with thousands of publishers around the world, and paved the way with its pitch in Frankfurt."

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