Amazon plans to sell online access to books

Amazon plans to start two programs next year allowing customers to buy digitized pages and chapters of books in addition to access to complete online texts.

Amazon.com plans to offer two programs next year that will allow customers to buy digitized books and portions of them in combination with its traditional, mail-order book service.

With Amazon Pages, customers can search through its index of online texts and purchase the pages or chapters they want to read, according to a company press release. Amazon Upgrade will allow customer who purchase a physical book to have online access to the entire text through the Internet, it said.

For two years, Amazon has offered its Search Inside the Book function, which mines digitized text for selected keywords. The company says now that one in two of the books it sells are in the program, and the service has been expanded to the U.K., Germany, France, Canada and Japan.

The company said it is working with publishers and authors to ensure they are compensated fairly.

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service

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