Thursday, May 06, 2010

Publishers negotiating for 'new world order' with Google

06.05.10 | Catherine Neilan in The Bookseller

Publishers in the US are in the midst of negotiations with Google over entering the internet giant's "buy anywhere, read anywhere" programme, the launch of which appears to have been pushed back slightly.

A Google spokesperson told The Bookseller that the widespread reports of a launch in "late June or July" - already later than the announcement made at Frankfurt that it would be up and running "by June" - was not set in stone. The company was talking to "all our publishing partners", he added.

OUP's vice president of global business development Evan Schittman said the delay came despite general positivity among publishers for the programme. "There is a lot of work there," he told The Bookseller. "It's not a simple contract because it's not a simple programme - but as a consumer it offers a lot, and as a publisher we want to get there."

He added: "A lot of publishers are not only in the middle of negotiations with Google, but also with Apple and Amazon - this is the new world order... Having two parties balance each other is OK, but having three makes for a much more dynamic market place."

In recent months, several publishers have locked horns with Amazon over terms, as they moved to adopt an agency model, to allow sales through Apple's prioprietary iBookstore. Of the big five, only Random House has not adopted the model, and is currently selling e-books on the iPad through third parties such as the Kindle App.

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