Will Google Editions Be Good For Independents?

Google is reportedly about to sign a deal with the American Booksellers Association, to make Google Editions the primary source of eBooks for independent booksellers nationwide. But will Google Editions really help independent bookstores?
At this point the pricing is still to be worked out. Google has yet to say if publishers will be able to set their own prices or if Google will set a standard. As the NY Times points out, it is likely to work like Ingram or Baker and Taylor, in which booksellers will pay a discount off of a suggested retail price and then the bookstores can set their own retail price for consumers. Sounds fair.
But as BNet points out, Google makes money through search advertising. Unless consumers are searching specifically for the independent bookstore’s website, then the likelihood that they will end up getting top natural search rankings against the likes of Google, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and Apple, is pretty slim. But Google will probably be happy to sell keywords for higher paid search rankings.



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