Google Editions for booksellers aims to let readers buy books and read them anywhere

Apple Online Store“Google is launching a new service for booksellers next year called Google Editions, which will let readers buy books and read them anywhere on gadgets ranging from cell phones to possibly e-book devices,” The Associated Press reports.

“Tom Turvey, head of Google Book Search’s publisher partnership program, said the price per book would be set by their publishers and would start with between 400,000 to 600,000 books next year,” AP reports. “‘It will be a browser-based access,’ Turvey said Thursday at the 61st Frankfurt Book Fair. ‘The way the e-book market will evolve is by accessing the book from anywhere, from an access point of view and also from a geographical point of view.'”

Google will collect 55 percent of the profits, Turvey said, giving a ‘vast majority’ of that to retailers, and the rest will go to the publisher,” AP reports. “‘Google Editions allows retail partners to sell their books, especially those who haven’t invested in a digital platform,’ he said. ‘We expect the majority (of customers) will go to retail partners not to Google. We are a wholesaler, a book distributor.'”

In related news, “a U.S. federal judge set a Nov. 9 deadline for submission of a revised agreement in the battle over Google’s effort to attain digital rights to millions of out-of-print books. The U.S. Justice Department filed papers last month, saying the $125 million agreement “raises significant legal concerns” and was likely to conclude that it breaks federal antitrust law,” AP reports. “The Justice Department also said that the deal could drive up prices because Google might gain a monopoly on some out-of-print books. The original agreement was reached in October 2008.”

Full article here.


  1. No, the retailer 25%, publisher 15% and pass 5% to the authors agent who then passes 3% to the author. Isn’t capitalism wonderful?In the meantime, does online access mean that for each unit trying to access the book you have to buy the book again? or do you have to log in each time you want to access your book thereby giving google your personal habits which they will then sell to the highest bidder. Think no evil as long as you do it, see no evil as long as you use other peoples eyes and hear no evil as long as the teller writes it down so you can read it.

  2. Access anywhere? I thought that’s what blogs are for.

    Google will probably make it a Flash app customized for reading and content management that has to be loaded onto your Internet device. The gBooks app will include targeted ads if you download *free* or discounted books and magazines.

    It will be touted as a *feature* not found on iPhones and iPads.

  3. @zmark,
    “So publishers get a lousy 45%? Sounds lousy!” Er, if you do not publish the book into ink and papers,,,,, exactly what does a publisher do to get paid for???

    Just a thought,

  4. @ Crabapple

    “No, the retailer 25%, publisher 15% and pass 5% to the authors agent who then passes 3% to the author. Isn’t capitalism wonderful?”

    Dont confuse agreements with capitalism.

  5. @ElderNorm
    Publishers typically act as a filter of what they consider material of certain quality. This may sound archaic and perhaps semi-censorous, but followers of particular publishers do so because they can expect a certain level quality and subject type of product consistently. (Not unlike Apple fans feel comfortable adopting new products from Apple.) That has value. In addition, publishers typically supply the editors to whip writings into final shape. Finally, publishers promote works, sometimes organizing author interviews and tours. The delivery method of writing is changing, but that doesn’t mean that all publishers are worthless leeches. Publishers will have to adjust and continue to justify their worth in the supply chain.

  6. I’m completely confused. Who is the “retailer” that gets the “vast majority” of the 55% profit from Google. Isn’t Google the retailer since they are selling the books online?

    And if Google has the right to do this with out of print books, why shouldn’t anyone else have the right to do it? And why not go after out of print music, CDs, movies, magazines, tapes, TV shows, etc.

  7. Google gaining “rights” to digital stuff is what concerns me most about all this.

    If Google is referring to works in the public domain… then no. Google should get no more rights to them than anyone else using public domain stuff in any form, digital or otherwise.

  8. Public Domain should remain Public Domain. Publications over 75 years old should become Public Domain. Corporations should not be able own an item for an indefinite period. Think of it as the intellectual legacy of humanity. The same as air.
    Google frightens me a little with this step. I hope I’m just paranoid.

  9. Dear Jeff Jarvis,

    Stop urinating on your iPad..

    What the hell happened here.. I thought Google wanted to ‘save’ all these books… now its just a huge cash grab?? Talk to me.

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