In what it is calling the first in a suite of tools that will help publishers generate revenue from titles that are part of Google Book Search, Google has introduced a new program that gives publishing houses the ability to sell access to their titles online.
Under the initiative, publishers tell Google what books they want to offer unlimited access to to consumers and at what price. Google will then remove the restrictions which limit consumers’ view of a title, enabling them to view the book at parameters set by the house. Publishers can also decide if they will permit a book to be printed out.
“This will enable publishers to experiment with different pricing models,” said Jim Gerber, director of content partnerships. Consumers will have “perpetual access” to a book they buy, but they will not be able to download the title, Gerber said. Google and publishers will split the fee charged to consumers, with the majority of the payment going to publishers. Google will collect payment for consumer access and will include the information on how many books have been viewed in its monthly activity report to publishers.
Any book that is now in the search program can be added to the access program. At present, Google is signing up titles for the program and will begin offering online views to the consumer when the company gets a critical mass of books, Gerber said.