Are You Mobile-Friendly?

Mobile continues to grow. Here are some important statistics you should be aware of:


  • About 74% of smartphone owners use their phone to check email.
  • Amazon reports that just under 60% of customers placed orders using the company’s mobile app during the 2014 holiday shopping rush, more than double the number of those who did so in 2013.
  • 90% of American adults have a cell phone. About 12% of them read books on their devices. They account for about 7% of ebook purchases.
  • Nearly 75% of daily Facebook users connect with the service from their mobile phones, that’s over 550 million people every day.

Individuals are increasingly using their mobile devices to connect with the Internet. If you are an author or publisher with a website this is important information for you. Breaking news is that Google, the largest search engine on the Internet, has decided that the mobile trend is so important that they are changing the way they do business.

Google is tweaking its search engine algorithms to take into account websites that are mobile-friendly. Beginning on April 21, 2015, Google’s new business practice will impact all mobile searches in all countries where Google is available.

Starting on April 21, 2015, users who conduct Google searches on their mobile devices will be shown search engine results that are mobile-friendly. In other words, Google will give mobile-friendly websites a higher ranking for mobile device searches.

If you are an author or publisher and have a website where you promote your books (and you should have one), you need to take immediate action. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If your website is not optimized for mobile viewing, you will begin missing out on potential business starting next month as mobile users will find it harder to locate you on the Internet.

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Ogled by Google

Over the past decade, Google has digitized thousands of books with or without the copyright holders’ permission. This led to the Authors Guild, along with the American Publishers Association, suing Google. Out of this lawsuit came the Google Book Settlement, This settlement has not yet been approved by the courts.

Now Google has announced that they will begin selling ebooks this summer (either in June or July).

This raises a number of questions in my mind.

Google says that users will be able to purchase digital copies of books they discover through Google’s book search service. Isn’t this the very same database that features books involved in the lawsuit that has not yet been settled?

Google has also stated that they will assign ISBN numbers to their Google Edition ebooks. Does this mean that they will sell ebook versions of all the books in their database with or without the rights holders’ permission?

Since the Google Book Settlement has not yet been approved by the court, Google does not have to follow it. Does this mean that Google will start selling those books covered under the Google Book Settlement in ebook format without paying the rights holders?

In the Google Book Settlement (section 4.5.i), it states “Google shall pay to the Registry, on behalf of the Rights holders, the Standard Revenue Split for Purchases. The “Standard Revenue Split for Purchases,” paid by Google to Rights holders, through the Registry, is seventy percent (70%) of Net Purchase Revenues.”

The Books Right Registry has not yet been founded, since the Google Book Settlement has not yet been approved. The purpose of the Books Right Registry is to collect and disburse revenue from third party users of content (Google) to authors, publishers, and other rights holders. Since it does not exist, how can Google make payment to the Registry for ebooks it is selling, so that the Registry will pay the rights holder?

Google has also announced that third-party retailers can sell Google Edition ebooks. They say that when Google sells the e-book directly from their website, “publishers” will get 63 percent of the revenue and Google will keep the rest. When a third-party retailer sells the e-book, the “publisher” will get 45 percent, and the retailer will get “most of the remaining 55 percent.”

63 percent? 45 percent? What about the 70 percent written in the not-yet-approved Google Book Settlement?

I am so confused. If any of you have any information that would shed light on this subject, please share it with me and the other readers of this blog.

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