SPANnet - Self Publishing Information

Has anyone taken a look at this announcement from Google?


Looks like it might be a new turn in the road for digital content.  I'll be honest, I haven't digested it yet.  Just thought I would bring it to the attention of this group.

Tags: Google, content, digital

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This was announced in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.  It's like this, but for serialized reading such as e-zines, newspapers, and paid blogs.   Google Books is sort of new.



I have to say, I've tried several times to load content onto Google, unsuccessfully. It's very frustrating!
Oh, dear. That sounds dreadful. I had been intending to use it, but, not having been able to upload digital content there before, now I retract my previous remark. This is almost the same as just handing the book over for them to scan like they were doing before. I'll stick with Kindle and Nook, thanks.

I haven't had this experience, but the first thing I would do is to try the prescribed process for removing a book.  I take it that you have made attempts to use Google's standard procedures for removing your book?


For books scanned via the Library Project...


For a book you submitted...


This last page clearly states:  "Copies already sold will continue to be served to the customers who bought them."   EBooks "served" via Amazon and Google are not simply files that are delivered to your device.  It is a service that insures that the book will always be there--even if you change devices.  The content is (potentially) delivered to your reader on demand.  So, your reader--while it is capable of a great amount of storage--is not limited to that capacity.  What this means is that someone who purchased a previous copy of your eBook expects that copy to be available when they request it.  That means that Google and Amazon must retain it if copies have been previously sold.


I have to say, that avoiding the use of Amazon and Google may be O.K. for some books, but I don't think that advice should be applied to all.  If your marketing plan calls for a wide distribution, you would be closing yourself off from some very powerful distribution tools if you avoid them.  Like many things, this decision should be evaluated for each book.  And, obviously, if you do choose to go this route, you'll want to be careful about what you are offering up, because there are strings attached. 


Also, even if you decided NOT to offer your book on Amazon or Google, an agent who has the right to sell your book may choose to do so--unless specifically prohibited.  For example, I've got a CD on Amazon that I never put there. 

I've read it over and it looks interesting, but really won't know what to say until I have digested it, either. If this is another digital marketplace I would not mind working with them, but it all depends on the "fine print".
As a follow-up, I don't upload anything to Google but my product feeds. Unfortunately, Google's product feed rules require an ISBN as a product code, so I have not been able to upload a feed including my ebooks. I am content to add my printed book information but in order for people to know there are ebooks at all they would have to visit my site. Again, I won't upload any of my ebooks to Google's Book Search program. That's a little like giving them away, and there is no control over what happens to them afterward. I had already had problems with getting older editions removed from the list and posting new ones without seeing the older editions posted first (like on Amazon). When Google loosens up a bit I'll reconsider, but not right now.

The problem exists with Amazon, too. I think a safe thing to do is avoid dealing with both and just use your other resources. At one time I loaded a product feed to Google's Merchant Center hoping to get more exposure but tracking of the API impressions and click backs shows that nothing is going to happen. As for self publishing houses which charge an arm and a leg I don't use them, either. CreateSpace and Lulu both publish for free but the extras (like proof copies) cost $$. It's  only natural.

As for editing, that is a problem but it's the author's responsibility to get the manuscript into a workable state before it is digitized, including the editing. I happen to edit my own only because I know how. I would not recommend it to newbies or young people.

The fact is that none of us really "needs" a large aggregator to sell for us. When we trust one to manage these things, there is always the risk that things will go wrong.


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