Independent Bookstores Now Selling Google eBooks™

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“Cloud-Based” and Multi-Device Access Provides Indies a Robust E-book Product for Customers

The American Booksellers Association announced today, Monday, December 6, 2010, that ABA member stores with IndieCommerce websites are now selling Google eBooks™ online. Google launched its e-book program today.

“This partnership with Google is an important chapter in the renaissance we’ve been seeing in independent bookselling,” said ABA President Michael Tucker, co-owner of California’s Books Inc. bookstores. “It allows our membership to better compete with corporate retailers on selection, price, and convenience. It levels the playing field.”

A Google eBook is a new form of cloud-based digital book that allows readers to access their libraries on almost any device from one single repository, regardless of where the e-book was purchased. ABA has partnered with Google because of its open and accessible platform, which allows ABA member bookstores to provide an easy way for their customers to discover, read, and buy e-books at competitive prices. Google is offering hundreds of thousands of titles for sale, ranging from new releases and bestsellers in every category to classics in the public domain. With today’s launch, the complete e-book catalogs of five publishers that have adopted agency plans – Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and John Wiley – are now available via IndieCommerce websites, and it is expected that Penguin e-books will be available soon.

“There is unmistakable evidence that an increasing number of consumers want to read books in digital form, as is shown by the almost doubling of e-book sales in the last year,” said ABA Chief Operating Officer Len Vlahos. “Google eBooks allow our members to serve those customers how, when, and where they want to be served and allows customers to continue to take advantage of the unique services of local retailers. This is a very exciting day for independent bookselling.”

“Our partnership with the American Booksellers Association is helping to bring e-books technology to independent booksellers and their customers nationwide,” said Chris Palma, manager of strategic partner development for Google Books. “This is just the beginning for us.”

A list of participating ABA member stores that have opted in to sell Google eBooks online can be found at www.indiebound.org/google-ebooks. (This list of stores will be updated periodically.) Because Google eBooks work with myriad devices – tablets, smartphones, computers, even most e-ink devices – consumers are free to shop from a variety of retailers rather than being bound to one retailer. This opens up a wealth of indie recommendations and bestsellers to avid e-book readers.

Any ABA member store participating in the IndieCommerce program that has signed and returned the new IndieCommerce contract sent via e-mail in mid-November can now sell Google eBooks. Stores that have not returned the contract are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, so they can begin selling Google eBooks. Signed contracts can be faxed to (914) 591-2720, or they can be scanned and then be e-mailed to iccontract@bookweb.org. All stores must sign and return the contract and the ACH Authorization Letter no later than January 31, 2011.

In conjunction with today’s launch of Google eBooks, ABA has announced a new website, www.IndieCommerce.com, that offers a wealth of resources to help IndieCommerce stores answer consumer questions about e-books and e-readers and to provide information to any bookstore interested in learning more about the IndieCommerce program.