Google Wants To Rent Books Online?

from the stage-II dept

With all the arguing over Google's plan to scan various library books (not to be confused with their Google Print offering -- which is slightly different), it looks like Google is trying to appease publishers in another way: by setting up a business model that lets publishers potentially profit from online book reading. The idea, apparently, is to rent out books online, a week at a time for 10% of the cover price. Consider it something of a response to Amazon's plan to sell books by the page online. Of course, the publishers who already aren't happy with Google balked at the price. Apparently getting only 10% of the cover price for a book that costs them nothing to print, bind and ship for only one week's viewing, just isn't enough. If true, this is incredible short-sighted on the publisher's part. Not that it's clear very many people would want to rent books for a week online (especially when the same books are available for free at the library -- often for longer than a week). However, if the reasoning really is because of the price, than the publishers have bigger problems to worry about. Assuming (perhaps a big assumption) people really are interested in this offering, publishers would make a lot more money, as just a few rentals more than covers the price of the book at almost no cost to the publisher. They wouldn't even need to rent out a book 10 times, since only a single book is needed for scanning, and thus, they're saving money on the cost side. No wonder these execs went into publishing. Their math skills seem a bit rusty.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Nov 13th, 2005 @ 11:57pm

    Making the World Easier for Demagogues

    So in other words, it is now easier for neo-nazis, Muslim fundamentalists, and other fanatics to publish books, because there are no longer ethical publishers to stop them. We can expect to see many more books with fabricated quotes, doctored photos, and other misinformation, because no editor will be there to check facts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    John, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 12:11am

    Re: Making the World Easier for Demagogues

    Did you even read the article? This is about actual published books. So the publisher and editor are still a part of the process. This has absolutely nothing to do with self-published books, which already exist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    dorpus, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 12:15am

    Re: Making the World Easier for Demagogues

    I speak of long term consequences when publishers (as we know them) lose their relevance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 1:05am

    Re: Making the World Easier for Demagogues

    dorpus is just excited that one day, he too may be able to sell a book on Google which includes all his "random ramblings of irrelevance".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Tatteredm, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 6:28am

    Re: Making the World Easier for Demagogues

    Isn't this the way it works anyways? If you're a neo-nazi, just pay $200 to a print-your-own press, and you're published. Publishers are the middle-man, filtering out books not based on ethics, but on politics and economics. "Will this make me money?" is asked more often that "Is this a quality book?"

    Either way, Google won't affect this process. They'll just lessen the amount of royalties the author recieves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 5:43am

    indeed goood =)[url=]gooogle[/url]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Boondocks, Jan 16th, 2008 @ 6:25am

    Rent books on line

    I don't know enough about the publishing business to comment on what the others have written. I just know I am excited about being able to rent books online as I live a bit in the boondocks, and don't often have access to the big bookstores. I know I could order books online to buy or rent, but when you really want a good book to read today, waiting a week or more for the book to arrive just doesn't fit the bill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Hide this ad »
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.