HP, Amazon to sell paperback versions of e-books

October 21, 2009 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Some of technology's best-known companies are betting there's pent-up demand for on-demand books.

Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's top seller of personal computers and printers, is teaming up with online retailer Amazon.com Inc. to challenge Internet search leader Inc. in the quirky new market of re-creating as paperbacks.

The concept represents a different type of book recycling, as digital copies created from print get a as paperbacks.

Publishing a single copy of a digital book usually can be done in a few minutes, allowing consumers to order a paperback version of a title that's out-of-print or only available in one or two libraries in the world.

The HP program announced Wednesday offers to publish paperbacks of about 500,000 digital books scanned from the University of Michigan's library. The books are all considered to be part of the public domain because they no longer protected under copyright. The paperback copies can be ordered through Amazon.com and a few other retailers.

Ironically, Google created most of the digital copies in the University of Michigan's collection.

Google embraced the concept of on-demand book publishing in a partnership launched last month. The deal allows a small company called On Demand Books to sell paperback versions of about 2 million digital books that Google has scanned into its index during the past five years.

As in HP's case, all of the Google books available for on-demand publishing aren't under copyright.

The recommended retail price for a paperback copy of a book in Google's digital library is $8. HP estimates a 250-page paperback printed on its machines will cost about $15.

On The Net: http://www.bookprep.com/

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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