Online retailer Amazon is preparing the launch of two new services to sell electronic books.
Amazon Pages will allow readers to purchase selected pages or chapters from a book in electronic format. A second offering lets customers 'upgrade' the purchase of a print copy of a book to include a digital version.
The digital book purchases use Amazon existing 'search inside the book' feature that has been available for two years.
Amazon already offers a selection of e-books and e-documents on its website using Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Reader. The online store expanded its e-book offerings last August with a selection of short stories.
The company did not unveil pricing information, technical details or a planned launch date for the upcoming services.
Meanwhile book publisher Random House said that it is planning to make its titles available to booksellers and search engines for release in an electronic form on a per-page basis.
Online publishers will be allowed to offer up to five per cent of a book as a free sample, and are charged four cents per page for electronic book sales for fiction and narrative non-fiction works.
The online vendor will be allowed to determine the retail price, and is responsible for collecting payment and preventing copyright violation.
Random House, a subsidiary of media powerhouse Bertelsmann, said that it has been talking to Amazon but did not give a projected release date.
The two companies unfolded their plans only hours after Google said that it had restarted its book scanning project.
While Google Print sparked controversy because the search firm said it would also scan copyrighted materials, the project appears to have revitalised the digital book market.
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