Summary:

Google is ending the affiliate program that allows independent bookstores to sell e-books through their websites, but the American Booksellers Association says it will have a new solution in place “well in advance” of the end of the Google program in January 2013.

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Google is ending the affiliate program that allows independent bookstores to sell e-books through their websites, but the American Booksellers Association says it will have a new solution in place “well in advance” of the end of the Google program in January 2013.

In a blog post Thursday, ABA CEO Oren Teicher tells members that “unlike 2010 — when ABA and Google entered into our agreement — today there are many more companies operating in this arena, offering a number of options for indie booksellers regarding e-books.” He doesn’t list any of those options by name but says “our goal is to have the new e-book solution in place by the fall,” and promises “putting the new e-book solution in place as quickly as possible is ABA’s number-one immediate goal.”

It’s unclear who ABA’s new partner could be, but Kobo, the digital bookstore now owned by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, could make sense: The company is looking to expand, it doesn’t own print bookstores that compete with independent bookstores, it’s already formed partnerships with international bookstore chains like the UK’s WH Smith and it’s not Amazon.

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