More Google Confusion

by on November 6, 2005

More misrepresentation of Google Print, this time from Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild:

“This is the way it’s supposed to work: to give consumers access to books and have revenues flow back to publishers and authors,” Mr. Aiken said. “Conceptually, something similar might be possible for the Google program.”

The clear implication is that, in contrast, under Google Print revenues do not “flow back to publishers and authors.” But that’s nonsense. The Google Print program already splits all advertising revenue with publishers.

Any publisher can go to Google’s web site and sign up to participate in the Google Print publisher program. As the company explains clearly on its web site, participating in the program allows publishers to “attract new readers and boost book sales, earn new revenue from Google contextual ads, and interact more closely with your customers through direct ‘Buy this Book’ links back to your website.” On the other hand, if a publisher chooses not to participate in the program, Google doesn’t display any ads, which means there isn’t any revenue to share.

So the idea of revenue sharing isn’t an abstract possibility for Google Print. It’s the way the program already works. Have any of Google’s critics bothered to read the company’s web site?

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