Google Book Deal 35 Comments
Google Book Deal

Some of you may be aware of the very ambitious project that Google is undertaking currently, referred to as the ‘Google Book Deal’, and I think it is well worth a mention, as Google have been ruffling a few feathers worldwide with this latest move of theirs.

In this post I am going to look at what the Google Book Deal is all about, what the opposition have to say, and how it may effect information marketers selling E-books.

So What Has Google Gone & Done Now?

To provide a brief overview, Google has been undertaking a project to digitize millions and millions of out of print books worldwide, which they  intend to be the gatekeeper of. No small operation by any stretch of the imagination, however when you have the resources and economic muscle that Google has, a project like this is very achievable.

However not all is smooth sailing for the online giant, as this latest stunt has been met by some rather fierce opposition from other big players such as Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo, and many other smaller constituents worldwide, who have formed a group called the ‘Open Book Alliance’.

“A class action settlement is the wrong mechanism, this court is the wrong venue, and monopolization is the wrong means to carry out the worthy goal of digitizing and increasing the accessibility of books,” Microsoft’s lawyers wrote.

The main gist of the opposition’s arguments against Google’s book deal is the infringement on certain copyright laws, and in particular how the book deal would be one of an author ‘Opt Out’ option rather than ‘Opt In’. What this means is that if an author doesn’t want their book to be a part of the project they must opt out, rather than choose to be included in the first place.

In addition to this further arguments in opposition to the Google Book project say: ““Google Book Search is like someone following you around the library, writing down every book you pick up and every book you sit down to read,” said Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties policy director at the Northern California ACLU. This may well be too much information, almost like Big Brother watching you.

However interestingly there is also a huge amount of support for the project which is going to play a big role in the outcome of the pending court case which will decide if Google will be given the green light to further pursue the project. Some big European publishers, like Oxford University Press, and Bertelsmann and Holtzbrinck, which own Random House and Macmillan respectively, support the agreement.

There is also over 25,000 libraries, publishers and authors worldwide are working with Google to digitize the books. The argument in favor of the project claims that this will only increase exposure to their archives which is a positive effect.

Germany and France have stated that they are firmly against the deal, however one copyright specialist stated: “I would imagine the court is going to say that because you have a significant amount of big players around the world who have opted into this, then it is worth proceeding with,” said Akash Sachdeva, an intellectual property lawyer at the law firm Allen & Overy in London.

What Does This Mean For Information Marketers?

Aside from the effect this new scheme of Google’s may have on big players such as Amazon, who may well suffer by internet-marketerlosing book sales to Google as a result of the project being approved, the next question we need to ask is will this effect the online information marketer selling Clickbank Ebooks, and if so how?

As with anything there are always many opinions being thrown around, some well thought through, others being irrational emotion based responses in my opinion. Nonetheless it is a hot topic worth discussing.

Some of the possible drawbacks would be that Google will take a portion of the online Ebooks sales away from Amazon and Clickbank affiliates.Considering the magnitude of the operation that Google is undertaking with this project, that is a definite possibility. Buyers searching online for information in different niches may have more variety to choose from and perhaps Google books will catch their eye.

Further to this point Google may well favor search engine rankings for Google Books pages, similar to what they already do with their YouTube videos. This could essentially drive traffic to Google books pages and away from information marketers.

However with that said I personally don’t think this will play too large a role and should not be anything to be overly concerned about. The first reason is that I don’t think Google is going to specialize in writing professional sales copy for these books, with bonuses etc… to increase hype and drive the conversions, like a typical Clickbank sales letter, done properly is designed to do.

If anything Google’s style of book promotion will most likely directly impact Amazon as their model will be more closely related. Remember people can buy off Amazon right now over a Clickbank Ebook, so I seriously doubt Google books will cut in on Ebooks sales too heavily, however I do think there will be some impact in particular niches.

There Is Always An Opportunity

As the old saying goes “Is the glass half full or half empty?” or something like that, I can never remember the saying. Anyway my point is that in order to be a successful entrepreneur you must remain optimistic and look for the opportunities in everything.

In my opinion Google will more than likely allow their ads to be placed on these Google Books pages, as they do google-books-adscurrently which you can see in the image, and that is a great opportunity to drive very targeted traffic to your websites.

Although Google do have a books site already:, they are planning on growing this into a huge project with much greater scope.

Plus I assume Google will also allow authors to give away their books for free, which again can be a fantastic way to drive traffic if you are an Ebook owner and something worth considering.

What Now?

It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the pending court case is for the Google Books project, and until then we must just wait and see. Regardless of the outcome, if the project does go forward, although I think it will have a big effect on Amazon’s sales, Ebooks sellers through the likes of Clickbank will not experience as much of the effect.

I would love to know what you guys think and I welcome your comments please!



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17 Comments to Google Book Deal

  1. terrance's Gravatar terrance
    September 11, 2009 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    I agree with you that it won’t hurt the little guys too much, and I think it will bring about more chances at making money. First, this is not going to be done over night if they win. Secondly, If they favor their books in search; it would seem like a chance to see what people are looking for. This would be easier to provide a targeted tailored product.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Terrance,

    You raise a valid point there, this may well give us marketers more market intelligence. Great comment!



  2. September 11, 2009 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    My problem with the Google Book Project is that if allowed, this opens the door to Google being able to OWN the intellectual propety of current writers and their books in the future. Digitizing out of print books with the authors permission and paying the authors royalty on the sales is not a bad idea. Just where, if the door is opened, it can lead to in the future certainly is a problem. I am not under the impression that Amazon deals in digitized out of print books, so it really shouldn’t hurt them very much. It’s just the future that gives me concern.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Patricia,

    That is great point also, and I have to agree with you there, I think it gives to me power to Google and who knows where that will lead in the future. Thanks for a very insightful comment.



  3. September 11, 2009 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    thanks for the info, personally I don’t think it will have too much impact on Clickbank affiliates for the same reasons you highlight above. But I think you hit the nail on the head by using Nicole Ozer’s quiote, Google definitely fancy themselves as the Big Brother of the future

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Charlie,

    Yeah I think it kind of does seem a little big brotherish, so it will be interesting to see what the outcome is. Thanks for your great input!!



  4. September 11, 2009 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    People are inclined to resist change and exaggerate the perceived threat. For one thing I don’t think the effect will be as great as they fear but regardless, as you rightly point out, the entrepreneur should be looking for opportunity.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Kevin,

    Yeah I agree with you there, people tend to love focusing on bad news and forget to look for the opportunity sometimes, I guess that where are great entrepreneur is different.

    Thanks for your comment also



  5. September 11, 2009 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    The copyright issue should favor the authors with opt-in, not an opt-out method. That is the law pretty much everywhere more or less. It does give Google an easy concession to make some opponents happy.

    As far as Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon are concerned. Well, in a word or two, screw them… They don’t want it because they can’t have it. They will not take on a project like this because they are unsure if they can profit from it. As far as I can tell the opposition companies are big, lumbering behemoths that are where they are by default and because they were parts of the first wave in their given businesses. Now they want to stop all innovation because they didn’t get there first. If they are so concerned why don’t they come up with an equivalent idea or start up a partnership to do it? Oh yeah, they don’t trust each other (or anybody else) enough.

    There is room for more than one and perhaps dozens of competing projects. No one, not even Google, is going to make this a monopoly, there are just too many books and publications for one company to completely dominate the market. If the opposition wants a piece just let them write a big check and go for it.

    And we information marketers will do just fine. It will weed out the derelicts and lazy ones but the good ones will more than likely flourish.

    Old books and content will never substitute for current and accurate information except for history perhaps. If Google is able to place relevant ads on the same page as the books, well heck, I’ll buy some of them…

    Another mountain out of a molehill story.


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Phil,

    Thanks for your opinion, I think it is a very valid one and I also agree that the big names like Microsoft and co and just trying to prevent Google getting an advantage, and not really interested in protecting the authors.

    Great comment, thank you



  6. September 11, 2009 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt
    I guess we will have to wait and see, but I’m with you on the glass half empty view!
    Author of “Discover Life on Your Terms”

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your input and yeah it will be an interesting outcome.



  7. September 11, 2009 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    If Google allows affiliates to list their free ebooks and display them in the manner youtube is shown, then huge amounts of traffic could be sent to the affiliate’s website. And if they do try and hurt affiliate’s sales, won’t they be losing millions of dollars themselves due to affiliates not doing business with them?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Linda,

    Very good comment! I think you are right and that this could be a great opportunity for affiliates, we will just have to see what exactly Google do with the book project I guess. I am not so sure that affiliates bring in a substantial amount of revenue for Google to be basing their decisions on but I think you do raise a valid point though.

    Thanks for your input



  8. September 11, 2009 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I agree I don’t think Google will impact information Marketing, On the contrary it will most likely be an advantage for us advertising wise

    I wouldn’t worry about this Google project too much


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Claude,

    Great to hear from you, and thanks for your input



  9. September 11, 2009 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    WoW, that is great. I think it may help not hurt, but we will have to see. it is too early to jump to any conclusions.
    But from what it looks like now, They are focusing on out of print books, that people may want. I for one would love to see what they do. Of course I love to read, and a lot of books I look for are now out of print.
    Thanks Matt, great post, and keep us up to date on what you learn

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey James,

    Good point also, as I too find it tough to find books sometimes and this can only make it easier.

    Look forward to more comments from you



  10. prasuti's Gravatar prasuti
    September 11, 2009 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Hi, I do not have my own web site . I hope that is ok for now. There is a wonderful book that Iused to own and it would be very wonderful to be able to see it again. It is called ‘Back To Eden’ by Kloss I think. Book full of useful knowledge

  11. Peter's Gravatar Peter
    September 11, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Hey Mat
    Thanks for the info, I agree with what you are saying and also with the fact that this may also give us more data on what books people are looking for, Potential markets etc. (GLASS HALF FULL)

    I think the big brother concern although genuine at it is, it may be a little late to be worried… “THEY ALREADY KNOW”

    So I’m looking forward to see what the outcome will be, in the meantime enjoy what we are doing! Take care…Peter

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Peter,

    Thanks for your input, and I think you might be right it is a little late they do know too much..ha ha…also great point about giving us more data on what people are reading!!



  12. September 11, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    As they say, “Information is Power”, and Google already seems hell-bent on amassing as much information on us that they can. People do not seem to realise that our privacy really IS being eroded is small chunks and the more information one company has on you, the less private we become. I need to go and write an atricle on this, I can feel the juices flowing…..

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Pelicanbill,

    You make a great point there in your comment about Google knowing more about our habbits is causing us to lose our privacy. Some commentors to this post seem to say its good data for marketing, others look at it your way, I tend to be on both sides really.

    Great comment by the way



  13. September 11, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Yes, your #1 fan here (but I’m guilty of not having watched your latest vid on finding profitable niches).

    Once again you have been true to yourself by providing value to your readers!!!

    I have my very first product (ebook) that I am creating right now for the Traffic Exchange industry so when I read the first part of your email my heart rate increased!!!

    Thank you for sharing your invaluable input on this subject.

    I just found out about a week ago that Father’s day is celebrated on the 6th of September there in Oz and in NZ! So, if you are a dad, belated Happy Father’s day.

    Take it easy,

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Renato,

    Always good to hear from you and thanks for your feedback!!

    I’m not a father yet, but perhaps soon enough I will be.



  14. September 11, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    This is just another way for Google to push their weight around, They are getting to big for their boots.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Graeme,

    Thanks for you input!!

    Look forward to hearing from you again soon,



  15. September 11, 2009 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Hey matt!

    I just joined your newletter… I am loving the 12 videos.. I got some good tips!!

    Much appreciated for the value… I am looking forward to getting the rest of the videos 🙂

    Cheers Matt!


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Sean,

    Glad you are enjoying the free video series!!

    Look forward to hearing from you again soon.



  16. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    September 11, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Reprinting out of print books sounds great as long as Google receive permission and pay the authors but it sounds as if that is not their plan. I hope that we can trust the court to hand down a fair judgment.

    My own experience with Google leaves me open mouthed. They strive to meet the requirements of searchers (extremely well done) and are working to clean up the net. It seems to me that they do not apply the same ethics to themselves. Much information that they put out is blatently untrue. So how do we protect ourselves from a dictatorial giant? We have to vote with our feet.

    We made Google what it is today and we can switch to the other engines if we loose confidence in Google.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Robert,

    Very insightful comment, thanks for your input.



  17. Sheila Mae's Gravatar Sheila Mae
    September 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Most interesting. Thanks for the enlightenment. Love your blog. You’re not too pushy, actually, you are inviting. Most appreciated is the time between emails. It’s odd, with as many emails as one gets, to actually look FORWARD to an email, but I catch myself wondering when Matt’s Marketing Blog is sending a new letter!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Sheila,

    Great to hear from you, and I appreciate you kind words, its always nice to get positive feedback from my readers. if you have any suggestions for topics you would like info on please let me know!!



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