Google Unbound And Free Online Books

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Google wants publishers and authors not to fear giving away electronic books online saying that it will ultimately lead to more book sales. At the Google Unbound conference yesterday at the New York Public Library the focus was the marketing potential of offering free books online.

The Google Books project has had its fair share of critics. The plan is to scan all public domain books for an online public archive. The publishing industry has been opposed to the plan.

There are success stories. Seth Godin, author of “Small is the New Big” has given away 2 million copies of his book on his Web site. He still is in the top 5 on Amazon.com. He believes this is because of marketing through word of mouth.

“If an advertiser spreads the word through the grapevine, consumers will spread the message to their friends,” Mr. Godin said. “It’s like handing the megaphone to people and letting them talk for the product.”

He also believes that download -to-own publishing is the next step that will save publishers the cost of production and distribution. The music and movie industry has had success with this format so it could possibly work for books as well.

According to David warlock, chairman at Electronic Publishing Services, he believes that the consumer will direct the future of the publishing industry. “We’re not living in discreet product worlds or distributed worlds,” Mr. Warlock said. “We’re in a world where users can connect things otherwise unconnected.”

It would seem to make sense that the publishing industry would follow in the footsteps of both the music and film industry by at least exploring online opportunities. To not do so could result in an unhappy ending.

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Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Google Unbound And Free Online Books
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