Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Google Digital Bookstore?

June 2nd, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books

I just finished reading this article from our local paper about Google planning to enter the digital bookstore market by the end of the year.  I’m all for competition and it should be interesting to see two giants like Amazon and Google duke it out.  I’m also curious how the pricing system will work out.  According to the article:

“Amazon is really starting to scare a lot of publishers,” said Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, a free digital-publishing platform based in Los Gatos.

Specifically, publishers are concerned that they will lose the ability to set prices for their books. When Amazon released the Kindle in November 2007, it unilaterally lowered the cost of digital bestsellers to $9.99 — an amount that is usually less than what Amazon

pays a publisher for those books and well below the $26 that hardcover books typical cost in a regular bookstore.Google has told publishers it will let them decide what to charge consumers, as long as the prices set aren’t exorbitant.

Who will determine if a price is “exorbitant”?  I also remember hearing some publishers want to actually charge more for ebooks than the print copy which does not make sense to me.  So I wonder if they will take advantage of this opportunity to do just that.  I imagine that would hurt sales and then be used as an excuse of why the ebook market is not growing.

What I would really be interested in is for someone to come up with some sort of used ebook market.  I have no clue how that could work but it would be awesome!

What do you think about this announcement?  Think Google will have any impact on the ebook market?

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