Continuing our theme of the Content Explosion that will make literally millions of new books available in the marketplace (and make an even bigger hash of Bowker’s already flagging tracking of new ISBNs every year), the University of Michigan announced yesterday that they will make available “more than 400,000” public domain titles in print-on-demand versions.
The nonexclusive two-year agreement is a partnership with BookSurge, which will offer the books via parent company Amazon. “The university will set the list price of each book. The agreement calls for a sharing of revenue between BookSurge and the university.” The university notes that it will also “eventually share some of its proceeds with Google on the sale of books that were digitized by Google.”
Michigan says the collection comprises books in “more than 200 languages.” Books will be available starting “later this summer” and they will “continue to add titles as books are digitized for the next several years.” In a posted FAQ, Michigan indicates that “in the coming year, the university will be extending the program and working with other potential printing and distribution partners.”
Earlier this year, Cornell University had announced a similar program, making 80,000 out-of-print public domain titles available through Amazon.com through print-on-demand. At the time, Cornell said they intend to “create 500,000 digitized books over the next six years.” And the University of Pennsylvania library has a partnership with scanning company Kirtas to to make 200,000 public domain books available in a “digitize-on-demand” program