Books must be allowed to find their readers, says Google

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Published 29/09/2010 on The Bookseller-

Readers rather than publishers should decide the books they want to read, a Google executive told a debate on digital’s effect on publishing. Santiago de la Mora, the internet company’s director for print content partnerships, was one of the speakers at The Literary Consultancy’s Big Publishing Debate held last night.

Other speakers included Faber c.e.o. and publisher Stephen Page, Canongate digital editor Dan Franklin and technology writer Bill Thompson. Amazon.co.uk head of books Gordon Willougby pulled out of the debate at the last moment. De La Mora defended Google’s Book Search, which will allow consumers to find, preview and buy titles through Google. The service is currently waiting final approval by the US Supreme Court after several years of legal wrangling.

De La Mora argued the role of Book Search was to try and find readers for every book, whether it was in or out of print. He said: “Around 75% of books are out of print. It’s means zero revenue for the author. The tragedy is that if you want to be published, read and earn a living from books being out of print is a shame. We believe the internet can actively be helpful and give longer shelf lives to books.”…Read more at The Bookseller.com

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