Only 20% of US indies signed up to Google Editions

Only 20% of US indies signed up to Google Editions

Only 20% of American Booksellers Association (ABA) members have signed up to the Google E-books programme, the head of the ABA has said.

Speaking at the Independent Booksellers Forum event on Sunday (15th May) in London ahead of today's Book Industry Conference, Oren Teicher said only 300 of the 1,500 members were selling Google e-books through their websites. He said the scheme was going "OK". He added: "It is clear e-books are not going away, we are making it clear to our members that some consumers are going to want to access them and we want to give those books to them." Google E-Books is expected to launch in the UK this summer.

Speaking to The Bookseller, Teicher called on publishers not currently signed up to agency model to do so and asked for their help in promoting the fact that customers could buy e-books from local bookshops as well as large internet retailers. He told The Bookseller the ABA supported agency as it allows their members “a platform to compete in e-books".

Teicher earlier said a wave of new bookshops were being opened in the United States. He said: “More 20 and 30-year-olds are opening book stores because they believe that the best days in bookselling are still ahead.”

The ABA chief noted trends in the US industry often repeat later in the UK and stressed the importance of indies selling a range of products to maintain profitability, as well as creating an online presence and trading in e-books. In particular, Teicher said his research found selling a split between 80% books and 20% non-book products was the ratio to aim for and referenced some US bookshops which had started selling clothes and running activities such as archery, in effect creating “a shop within a shop".