updated 05:45 pm EDT, Thu September 17, 2009
Google to offer 2 million print book titles
Google will soon offer print books for the first time, including classic titles that include Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre, thanks to a partnership with On Demand Books, according to a Thursday report (subscription required). The Internet giant will offer some 2 million out-of-copyright titles, which can be ordered and printed by On Demand Books' Espresso Book Machine, which is capable of printing a 300-page book in under five minutes, including a cover and bound edge.
"Google's mission is to make the world’s books more available," said Google spokesperson Jennie Johnson.
The print books are expected to cost $8, with Google receiving $1, On Demand Books receiving another $1, and $3 each going to cover the cost of materials and labor as well as the book retailer.
This move should help Google in its quest to make classic books available online in digital form. Google has been facing active resistance in this regard, with Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo claiming a proposed Book Rights Registry by Google would give it too much control over online books.
On Demand Books already offers 1.5 million titles, the majority of which are from the non-profit Internet Archive. It also includes 200,000 titles that are still copyrighted.