Thursday, April 05, 2012

A Change to Our Retailer Partner Program: eBooks Resellers to Wind Down Next Year

With the launch of Google eBooks in 2010, we introduced a multi-faceted approach to selling ebooks: online, on devices, through affiliates and through resellers. One part of that effort -- the reseller program -- has not gained the traction that we hoped it would, so we have made the difficult decision to discontinue it by the end of January next year.

This change will help us focus on building the best ebooks experience we can across hundreds of devices with millions of books. Books will continue to be a major content pillar alongside apps, music and movies in the Google Play store. And -- regardless of where they bought them -- customers will still be able to access and read their ebooks on the web, phones, tablets and compatible eReaders.

We will work closely with our sixteen reseller partners as they transition in the coming months. Also, booksellers will still be highlighted in the “Buy this book” section of Google Book search, supported with our affiliate program and have access to free Books APIs.

Looking at the results to-date, it’s clear that the reseller program has not met the needs of many readers or booksellers. While our role as an ebooks wholesaler to booksellers will be coming to a close next year, we remain as committed as ever to making the eBooks experience from Google the best it can be for readers around the world.


  1. "’s clear that the reseller program has not met the needs of many readers or booksellers."
    Google eBooks was the only way the independent bookstore where I worked was able to jump into the digital book world, a necessary piece of the future of bookselling. It met the needs of all my customers who tried digital books for the first time and all my customers who wanted to support the little guy with every book purchase. Many of my customers got Google accounts so they could buy eBooks through our website.
    I feel betrayed, like Google strung us and the ABA along, using us as guinea pigs as they developed their eBook market presence.

  2. Anonymous2:09 PM

    So . . by "change" you mean "cancellation?"

  3. Anonymous4:42 PM

    So. . . cancelled?

  4. Looks like Amazon wins.

  5. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Okay, good to know.

  6. As an avid independent bookstore customer and someone who buys Google ebooks through indie stores, I was upset learn about this. So much for "Do no Evil," eh? I guess I'll go back to purchasing them from Sony.

  7. I am extremely disappointed by this news. I am an avid supporter of Village Books in Bellingham, WA, and of Google's motto, "Do no evil", and loved the prospect of saving paper while still helping our lovely local bookstore. Google has really changed for the worse and it saddens me. I might as well buy an iPad and use bing at this rate.

  8. Google Books should push Adobe to upgrade Adobe Digital Edition reader to enable text highlighting and annotations in the margins. Technical books without these features are almost useless.

  9. Anonymous5:33 AM

    I wholeheartedly agree with RS_SF. Text highlighting and annotation for text and technical books is a must. As is being able to clip and send snippets. It is not only about the reading but also about the sharing or quoteing and use of the information provided.

  10. I am hugely thankful to Google for making so many classic and public domain texts available to readers around the world. I use such texts to access early documentations of languages and for the rare historical information they may contain.

    From my point of view, the best format has been the PDF of a fully digitized (scanned) book. Just lately, though, I have noticed that more and more books are only available in the Adobe ePub format. These are not easy to read, and sometimes appear to have been OCR'd, with occasionally miserable results! Please could we have the old PDFs back?

    I do love everyone at Google books and all of the librarians at participating institutions! Thank you so much, all of you.