When I first read about Google eBooks launching their online bookstore, the part that excited me was that they are partnered with independent bookstores. And then I saw Next Chapter Bookshop was listed, and I was even more excited. Next Chapter is in Mequon, Wisconsin, and I can vouch that it’s a great place to shop, inviting and friendly, and they have many author visits.
This is part of the announcement from IndieBound (which includes a list of participating shops):
“A Google eBook is a new form of cloud-based digital book that allows readers to access their libraries on almost any device from one single repository, regardless of where the ebook waavs purchased. ABA has partnered with Google because of its open and accessible platform so ABA member bookstores can provide an easy way for their customers to discover, read, and buy ebooks at competitive prices. Google is offering hundreds of thousands of titles for sale, ranging from new releases and bestsellers in every category to classics in the public domain.
A list of participating ABA member stores that have opted-in to sell Google eBooks online can be found below. (This list of stores will be updated periodically.) Because Google eBooks work with myriad devices — tablets, smartphones, computers, even most e-ink devices — consumers are free to shop from a variety of retailers rather than being bound to one retailer. This opens up a wealth of indie recommendations and bestsellers to avid ebook readers.”
I still wasn’t sure how it would work, and Lanora Hurley from Next Chapter graciously agreed to answer my questions.
Lanora, thank you so much for explaining this to us. I went to Google eBooks to see how it worked and clicked on a couple of books. They had the Buy button, but there was no way to specify that I wanted to buy from your shop. Would I have to call Next Chapter or go to your place to buy an ebook?
All you have to do is go to our website at www.nextchapterbookshop.com! The American Booksellers Association’s partnership with Google eBooks allows us to make the digital books available for purchase on our website. This means that if anyone would like to support their independent bookstore when purchasing their digital books, they can choose to go through us first, thus allowing us to make (a little) money off of each purpose. Think of it this way: yes, you could go to Google eBooks and buy directly, but if you use our website as the front door you are also buying local and keeping the money in the community!
Would the prices be the same going through your shop as listed on Google eBooks?
Most of the prices will be the same, some will not be. In the simplest terms, this has to do with the agreements that the publishers have put together for the sale of their product. Some publishers have put in place an agreement that requires every retailer to sell the book at the same price. However, some publishers allow the retailer to sell the book at whatever price they choose. Most of my competitors will price these books for LESS than what they cost them to use them as a “loss leader” to entice people to buy the hardware required to read the book. This is where they make their money. Being a small locally owned business, we are unable to price anything below what we paid for it! Or if I did, I wouldn’t be around for long.
This is so new, I’m not sure what to ask. Is there anything else you can tell me about this program?
It’s a brave new world out there! My goal is to offer my customers access to good books, in any format they choose. I don’t feel that the bound book is going away anytime soon. I signed up for the program for those customers that have an e-reader and also wanted to be able to continue to support Next Chapter Bookshop. The only caveat is that the digital books from our website will not work on Amazon’s Kindle. The Kindle uses what is called a “proprietary” format and if you own one, you can ONLY buy your books from Amazon. My advice to customers is to not lock themselves into buying from one retailer. Any other e-reader device on the market, from the Nook to Sony to an iPad, are compatible with Google eBooks. I am not very computer savvy, but found it easy to purchase and download one of the e-books from our website, and I did it on my iPhone! Now as to actually reading it on a little screen? That is something I am afraid I am not used to yet!
Lanora will answer questions, so ask away! I’ll be giving away an e-book to a commenter that I’m buying through Next Chapter Bookshop. In honor of Jane Austen’s Dec. 16th birthday, I’ll give away ACCORDING TO JANE by Marilyn Brant. In addition to having the #1 spot on the Kindle bestselling list this fall, ACCORDING TO JANE is #5 on Buzzle.com’s 100 Best Romance Novels of All Time! I’ll announce the winner here tomorrow morning.
Congratulation to Elle, the giveaway winner! Enjoy the book and have a great holiday!