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Google Editions defies digital economics

Google today announced it will enter the e-book distribution business with a service, Google Editions, which will sell electronic copies of as many as 500,000 books offered by traditional publishing houses. The service is amazing, because the company has found a way to increase the retail distribution cost of e-books relative to paper books. Think […]

Amazon strikes UofMichigan reprints deal

Amazon’s BookSurge print-on-demand (POD) service has agreed to make up to 400,000 out-of-copyright titles in the University of Michigan library system available for sale as reprinted POD books. “This agreement means that titles that have been generally unavailable for a century or more will be able to go back into print, one copy at a […]

PW to host Google Settlement webinar

I’ll be listening in when Publishers Weekly‘s Jim Milliot, AAP board members Richard Sarnoff (Bertelsmann) and John Sargeant (MacMillan), and the Authors Guild talk turkey about the Google Books Settlement on July 29 at 2 PM Eastern time. The conference call will be held online, you can sign up here.

Nokia’s Symbian gambit

Nokia today announced via Twitter that it will not make a smartphone based on Google’s Android operating system. This is significant because it shows that hardware makers are concerned about losing control of their relationship with customers. Symbian, Nokia’s favored OS—it has slowly acquired the company that develops the OS since joining it as a […]

Feds digging into Google Books settlement

The U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the Google/Authors Guild/Association of American Publishers book settlement to determine if it violates federal antitrust laws. I suspect that the result will be a compromise that allows future negotiations of royalties by rights holders (authors and publishers) with Google. The current agreement, which rights holders must decide to […]

Google Books add word frequency analysis

Inside Google Book Search‘s Diego Puppin, a software engineer at Google, writes about a new addition to the book summary for some of the books at Google Books: “As with the other features on the Book Overview page, the word cloud is meant to offer a new way to explore our catalog. If you are […]

Google Book Search adds features

Inside Google Book Search, in a posting by Google Books Product Manager Brandon Badger, debuts a set of new features in Google Book Search. My favorite, the ability to embed a preview of a book or a link, such you see above or as the link following for Page 28 of A Catalogue of Books […]

Financial Times: Google’s railroading cartel

The Financial Times‘ Lex column (registration at site required, but free) makes the rhetorical point: Imagine that in the 19th century the company furthest advanced laying US railroads was given the right to build all future rail lines. The public might have gained from the new services, but ultimately been left at the whim of […]