I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to read this headline. Google, to my mind, was making it at least possible – if not likely – for independent bookstores to succeed where independent record stores and video stores had failed. They could compete with Amazon.com on a level playing field with their Google partnership. I know they were having mixed success… and I know Google is a business and needs to make a profit… but still. To just give it the axe after only a year or so seems a little extreme.
The American Booksellers Association says they’ll have their own e-book product by the time Google’s program is discontinued in January of next year. But my expectations are not high. The kind of infrastructure required to compete with Amazon is something even Barnes & Noble is having a hard time doing. How will ABA create it from scratch in less than a year?
Call Google at one of their locations if you want to express your disappointment, or give them a ring at their headquarters 1.650.253.0000. I plan on doing this next week.
More to come.