Arts and Humanities Local News

Google e-Books Decision Affects Local Bookseller

Internet giant Google’s announcement that it will stop allowing bookstores to sell e-books on the company’s platform will have local implications. Right now, Louisville bookseller Carmichael’s sells Google e-books on its website, but that will end early next year.

Carmichael’s Bookstore co-owner Carol Besse says Google’s decision is unfortunate for small booksellers, and the service has allowed Carmichael’s to get into the e-Books business on a level playing field.

“We were selling most e-books at the same price as Amazon. So for the first time ever we were able to compete on price,” she says.

State of the News

Redistricting, Right to Work, Debate Audiences, Google’s Privacy Policy: Today on State of the News

Segment A: Metro news with the WFPL news staff.

Segment B: KPR Capital Bureau Chief Kenny Colston with statehouse news, IPBS statehouse reporter Brandon Smith on Indiana’s right to work legislation, and Shelly Baskin from WKMS in Murray, on the murder of Hickman, KY Mayor Charles Murphy.

Segment C: Rick Edmonds from the Poynter Institute on the impact of debate audience reactions, and a look at Google’s new privacy policy with eWeek’s Google Watch blogger Clint Boulton, and NPR’s Steve Henn.

Local News

Louisville Region Partners Public Transportation with Google

The Louisville Metro region has joined the ranks of hundreds of other metropolitan areas that have partnered public transportation with Google.

Passengers can now click a public transit option on Google Maps to find the closest scheduled Transit Authority of River City (TARC) route to their destination. Users will be given three departure times for this route.

“We want to be on the leading edge, but not the bleeding edge. I think we’ve been working with this for six months, eight months. And so you can see we’re joining about 500 other cities,” said Barry Barker, TARC’s executive director.

Here and Now

Google+ and the Argument for Online Anonymity: State of the News

Friday, August 19 on State of the News, Fast Company‘s Neal Ungerleider joined us to explain a debate that’s been going on since Google+ started suspending pseudonymous accounts: is anonymity necessary for political activism and uncensored sharing? Or is Google right in its assertion that using real names makes connecting with people online more like connecting people in the real world? The policy as it stands has online activists worried – and has caused problems for those who have an already-established identity or brand online that’s not associated with their legal name. So far, the only concession from Google has been to announce a 4-day grace period before accounts are suspended.

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Local News Uncategorized

Carmichael’s Partners with American Booksellers Association to Sell Google E-books.

Carmichael’s Bookstore, one of the leading independent booksellers in Louisville, has recently begun selling e-books through their website through a partnership with Google and the American Booksellers Association. More than 250 booksellers nationwide are using the system, which allows independent bookstores to make money from e-books, a market previously reserved for giants like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The e-books can be downloaded through Carmichael’s website, and the store has also linked to books online through QR codes—a type of square barcode that can be scanned with a smartphone—which have been posted on their shelves next to bestsellers or staff picks.

“We have agreements with almost all of the major publishers now. The vast majority of titles are available through our website, and they are the same price as anyone else. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, anyone like that,” says Carmichael’s manager Kelly Estep.

Google e-books can be viewed on an number of devices, including Android phones and tablets, Apple’s iOS devices, Nook and Sony e-readers, and personal computers.  They are saved in the cloud, and not limited to a single device. When downloaded from an independent bookseller’s website, both Google and the bookseller get a cut, with the publisher keeping the majority of the money.

“[What Carmichael’s receives is] usually less, the e-books are typically priced a lot less, but again that’s something that varies by publisher, that’s up to the publisher really as to what percentage they split with us, and Google is also a part of that,” says Estep.

Carmichael’s is currently the only bookstore in Louisville using the system, but Poor Richard’s Bookstore in Frankfort Ky has also adopted the system.

Here and Now Local News WFPL News Department Podcast

Tech Writer Steven Levy Discusses Google

Steven Levy chronicles the past and future of Google in his book, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.  While in Louisville for an evening talk at the library, he dropped by the WFPL studios to speak with Todd Mundt today during Here and Now. The two discussed Larry Page, who is back in the big chair as CEO. Levy talked about Google’s low-achievement with attempts to get social, but he says there’s development afoot that looks promising on that front. And how can a company growing so quickly avoid “evil?”

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Here and Now Local News

Today on Here and Now: Floods, Google… No Connection Implied

Coming up at 1pm: The Midwest is bracing for several more days of torrential rain after powerful storms hammered Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and of course Kentucky yesterday. The Ohio River crest in Louisville is expected sometime tomorrow, and more heavy rain is on the way tonight and tomorrow. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers might use explosives to breach a levee in Southeastern Missouri to reduce pressure on the Mississippi River, but that would flood 130,000 acres of farmland. The levees have breached in two places in Poplar Grove, Mo., and we’ll talk with that town’s mayor.

Also this hour, Steven Levy says Google’s best years might be ahead of it. The Senior Editor of Wired magazine has written “In the Plex” about the rise of Google – he’s speaking at the library tonight – and he’ll be speaking with us starting at 1:35pm.