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Bad news for indie bookstores: Google ends partnership program

John Moe Apr 6, 2012

It was supposed to be, if not a rescue boat, at least a life jacket for hundreds of independent bookstores. Google launched a program in December 2010 to let those stores sell Google e-books through a Google app. So your friendly shop down the street could get traffic and make sales to people all around the world! And all through the platform of Google e-books, a platform that isn’t very popular and that no one uses! Now: see if you can spot the business model platform in that previous description. Google has announced that it’s shutting down the program because it failed to gain traction.

The LA Times indicates there is residual grumpiness:

Oren Teicher, the chief executive of the American Bookseller Assn., acknowledged that e-book sales through the program had been “modest,” but he noted that “from the start, we have recognized certain realities of our working with Google.”
“Google has interests far beyond independent bookstores, and the book world at large, and, at times, it has lacked understanding of many basic principles of our industry,” he wrote, adding that the end of the partnership would spur the association to find a better e-book vendor to work with.

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