I had the honor of interviewing keynote speaker Mark Nelson for the Publishing Business Virtual Conference today. Mark’s title is Strategic Partner Manager for Google…….and he used to work at Random House. (btw, Tom Turvey who also works for Google Books, used to work at HarperCollins. One more and we have a trend, as they say in the media.)
I’ve written about Google Books before — but for some reason, it’s taking an inordinate amount of reinforcement to make the Google Books details stick — so I was glad to have the opportunity to ask away…….
Here’s what I learned today:
- To be in the Google Editions Program (i.e. Commerce), a publisher needs to sign up for the Google Partner Program (i.e. Discovery)
- These programs are DIFFERENT from the Google Library Project, which we didn’t really discuss because it’s still in the courts without resolution……and not Mark’s bailiwick anyway.
- Publishers will set the list price, then retailers will determine the sale price too — so prices could vary depending on which vender you purchase from. Google will receive a percentage of the revenue on purchases.
- Google will place ads on the Book Preview Pages, but NOT within the Google Books Editions.
- The BUNDLE! It’s coming…..Bob — The Bundle is finally coming!! Google says they will be able to facilitate a digital and physical purchase. The price of “the Bundle” will be determined by the publisher.
- And speaking of the “publisher” — that would include the “Self Publisher” as well as the “Corporate Publisher.”
- As far as being a retailer, Indies will be able to work through Indie Bound to sell Google Editions, or can implement the back-end technology on their own at this point. Google is open to working with any reseller who wishes to sell Google Editions.
- If you are an individual who would like to sell Google Editions on your site (a la Amazon Affiliates) — that’s not part of the initial launch, but could happen in the future.
- Speaking of the official launch…….and when that might be….No Exact Date Yet ;)
- Google Editions will be able to be read on any device….even a Kindle or a Nook (though it sounded as though those retailers would need to be the ones to decide whether or not they’d make that possible).
- Digital Audio Editions — Not part of the launch. Maybe in the future.
- Enhanced editions of a book — Again, not at launch. Hopefully soon.
Below is an old blog post dating back to HarperStudio’s first attempt at “The Bundle.” (In fact, it was HarperStudio’s first book, published.) A year and a half later, I would characterize that bundle experience as an onerous (SAT word ;)) experiment that was before it’s time.
Random aside: Does anyone else out there have a “Fear of Webinars?” I don’t mean just listening/watching — I mean, as in participating in them. The few times I’ve been asked to speak at a Webinar (or in this case, interview the keynote speaker), I have had a technological panic attack right before it starts, and suddenly I can’t find the link, the call in number, and I become absolutely sure that the whole thing isn’t going to work, and I’m going to be responsible, etc. etc. etc.
Just wondering whether this is “a thing” — as in a new phobia — or if I’m the only one who finds Webinars extremely stressful.