Monday, 7 November 2011
Google eBooks launches in Australia; Booktopia and Dymocks to sell Google eBooks

Google has launched its ebook operation in the Australian market.

As well as being able to purchase ebooks from Google directly, Australian consumers are also able to purchase ebooks through a number of bookseller partners, including Booktopia and Dymocks. According to the Google eBooks website, Co-op Bookshop and QBD will also be retail partners 'soon'.

The Australian Google eBookstore offers content from a wide range of Australian publishers including Allen and Unwin, Hachette Australia, Pan Macmillan, Random House Australia, Murdoch Books, HarperCollins Australia, Scribe Publications, Text Publishing, Hardie Grant, Black Inc., Melbourne University Press, and UNSW Press.

Dymocks confirmed in a statement today that it is partnering with Google eBooks, saying that the partnership will add 'hundreds of thousands of local and international titles available for purchase' from the Dymocks website. According to the Dymocks website, customers will be able to purchase Google eBooks from Dymocks from midday (AEDST) today.

Dymocks general manager of ecommerce Michael Allara said in the statement that the 'partnership with Google eBooks is a natural progressions for [Dymocks] as [the company] continue[s] to innovate and expand [its] digital offering'.

Allara said that Dymocks have recently introduced an ebook gift card and Dymocks customers will be able to earn Booklover's Rewards points when they purchase Google ebooks from the Dymocks website, which 'can then be redeemed for future purchases from Dymocks, both in store and online'.

Booktopia, whose ebook store is now live, said in a statement this morning that it has 'selected the Google eBooks platform as its preferred ebooks solution' and is 'extremely pleased to offer hundreds of thousands of ebooks available for immediate purchase'.

Booktopia CEO Tony Nash told the Weekly Book Newsletter that the bookseller has content from nearly all the major Australian publishers, and publishers that do not currently have ebooks for sale through Google and Booktopia will be added soon.

Nash said that Booktopia decided to partner with Google as a result of the company's previous experience with other Google products, including the Google Books platform.

'We have been involved in internet business for a long time,' said Nash, who said the company has formed a 'positive relationship' with Google during that time. 'We think what Google is doing is very important and strategic,' said Nash. 'In the end, working with Google for ebooks was a very, very simple decision for Booktopia'.

Nash said that Booktopia also decided to work with Google because of the particular characteristics of the Google eBook offering. In particular, the cloud-based system offered by Google, in which customers are not locked-in to a particular device or platform, is important to Booktopia as new devices and mobile technologies are developed, said Nash. 'It gives us the confidence that customers who will buy ebooks now will keep buying from us in the future,' said Nash.

Nash said that Google's use of the ePub international standard for ebooks was also 'really important' for Booktopia, as was the fact that they have a team based in Australia who are 'committed and focused' on developing relationships with local publishers.

The launch of Google's Australian ebookstore, previously expected to take place early this year, follows the launch of the Google US ebookstore in December 2010. The US store launched with approximately 300,000 in-copyright titles from 4000 US publishers, in addition to over two and half million public domain works. Google launched its ebookstore in Canada in October.

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