Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Google e-books

Google, who acquired the rights to all out-of-print books in a class action settlement a while back, has now entered the e-book publishing marketplace, Google e-bookstore, http://books.google.com/ebooks.

Scroll about halfway down the home page to locate free books. Seven pages of e-book titles provide a wide selection of the classics you may have read in print years ago.

Since my books, Behind These Mountains, vol. 1, 2 and 3 are out-of-print Google also was awarded the right to digitize them and make them available to the public. Just as they were awarded the right to publish thousands of other out-of-print books in spite of the author's objections.

When I first heard about the class action lawsuit I took the opportunity to *opt in* not knowing how it would affect me. And I'm still unclear about many of the settlement's effects.

I don't know whether the details of the settlement also gave them permission to e-publish the books and offer them free to the public as they have with the classics advertised on their website now.

I've contacted mailto:BookSettlement_en@rustconsulting.com in an attempt to find out.

The good news is, the e-books Google publishes can be read on just about any electronic device you own, http://books.google.com/help/ebooks/overview.html.

Since my books are regional history books about the sparsely populated area of the Cabinet Mountains where the Clark Fork River flows in northwestern Montana I'd be surprised if Google ever does digitize and make them available.

I'll post whatever information I locate so that other authors of out-of-print books can know what they might expect.

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