September 24, 2021

"Is Google eBooks Planning A Rental Service?" Or Is Google "Walking Away" From Their eBookstore?

Here’s a report that begins with talk about Google opening an eBook service and then moves into a report that Google is “walking away  “from eBookstore they opened about six months ago? That’s the world of Google for you.

Book Expo America is going on this week in NYC and this morning a panel about Google books took place at the conference.

As Laura Hazard Owen reports on paidContent Scott Dougall, Google Books Director of Product Management hinted but did NOT confirm that an eBook rental service using a “Netflix-like service is in the works.”

Owen goes on to tell us that although there was no confirmation Dougall’s, “Tone suggested it was on the way.”

She then quotes Dougall saying “We haven’t announced anything like that.” [pause] “Yet.”

The story then points to a report on the MOBYLIVES blog by writer and book publisher Dennis Johnson, that Google is “walking away” from their eBookstore.

Johnson writes (on MOBYLVES):

Why? Well, watch for the denial, but as reliable, primary sources have told us at Melville House, and have told every other publisher we know, including some imprints at the big houses, it’s because Google has pulled all its programmers off the eBookstore.

As you might expect, Scott Dougall from Google Books did not comment about either report.

The paidContent article also includes several facts and stats about Google Books that Scott Dougall shared during the program.

Here are three of several:

  • Google Books has found that over 25 percent of its users do most of their reading online. 25 percent read on their phones, 20 percent read on e-readers, and the remaining roughly 30 percent read on tablets (iPads and others).
  • New York Times bestsellers make up a quarter of the Google eBookstore’s business. Nonfiction makes up over half of sales, but most of the books on Google’s top 100 bestseller list are fiction. “Android users read more fiction than iPad users,” Dougall said. “I’m sure there’s a joke in that somewhere.”
  • Google Books will soon roll out an affiliate program for bloggers and others who link to the Google eBookstore and resell Google e-books through their websites.

Direct to “@BEA: Is Google eBooks Planning A Rental Service?” (via paidContent)

Direct to “Why has Google walked away from the Google eBookstore?” (via MOBYLIVES)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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