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Google to launch Digital Books by early summer, WSJ

Google will begin ‘selling digital books’ as early as late June or July, a company representative said on Tuesday. “Jumping into a battle that involves Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble Inc. – Google’s Chris Palma, announced the timetable at a panel on Google’s plans sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group in New York. The event, held at Random House’s Manhattan offices, was entitled: “The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud?” Google says users will be able to buy digital copies of books they discover through its book-search service. It will also allow book retailers—even independent shops—to sell Google Editions on their own sites, taking the bulk of the revenue. Google is still deciding whether it will follow the model where publishers set the retail price or where Google sets retail prices. Publishers have yet to publicly commit to participate in the service. Yet many continue to cheer the idea as potentially significant new opportunity to increase the sale of digital books, since even the smallest independent bookstore will have access to a sophisticated electronic-book sales service with a vast selection of titles,” reports WSJ.


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