Google is inviting UK and US publishers to sign up for a forthcoming e-book store on its website.
Users will get access to the book through their browser only, and will not be allowed to save local copies or copy pages.
"Google Book Search helps users who find and preview a book to buy it through online retailers or local bookstores. The e-book store will let them pay for immediate access to the book right from their browser," said Google on a webpage where it invites publishers to sign up for the service.
"It's a way for publishers to experiment with a new method of earning money from their books in addition to those that already exist."
The service is part of Google Book Search which lets users perform search queries against text published in books.
The service presents users with fragments from the books and in some cases links to online retailers. It does not yet provide direct access to the works.
In a related programme, Google Print is scanning books from many of the world's libraries. The books contain copyrighted material as well as public domain work for which copyrights have expired.
The former has already sparked two lawsuits and has forced Google to put the programme temporarily on hold.
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