The Canadian Campus Retail Associates (CCRA) and Independent College Bookseller's Association (ICBA) announced this week that they have completed an agreement and integration with Google eBooks to distribute ebooks through college stores in Canada and shortly in the U.S. This is similar the arrangement that the American Bookseller's Association (ABA) has with Google to distribute ebooks via Indie Commerce. This brings yet another option for college stores to provide customers with opportunities to discover, read and buy digital books on a range of devices and at competitive prices.
Chris Tabor from the CCRA noted that "This is our first step with the potential of the Google ecosystems. Google is an incredible company to work with. We learned a lot and are looking forward to more."
18 Canadian stores are participating in the initial launch, and other stores will begin to have access within the next 60 days. Roughly 200 college stores are expected to be live with Google ebooks soon, as this service is offered to all CCRA and ICBA members, as well as stores currently participating in the Digital Content Platform initiative which is also co-sponsored by the two organizations.
Disclaimer: Some folks who read this blog may know that NACS Media Solutions (NMS) did work with CCRA and ICBA on the digital content platform initiative and related pilots. While we were aware of this pending development in advance from our prior participation, at this time NMS has no direct financial stake or active engagement in this initiative other than a sincere desire to see this initiative and others like it be successful within the college store industry. Any questions about the current and upcoming offering should be directed to either CCRA or ICBA.