Amazon Ups the Stakes in Online Books

Rob Hof just announced that it's planning to offer customers the chance to get online access to selected pages for a fee, as well as buy complete digital copies when they buy a physical book. It's a way for Amazon to make a little money--though it's not yet clear how much--from its Search Inside the Book technology, which lets anyone search through thousands of books online.

Whether publishers will cotton to this, I don't yet know. It seems like an attractive opportunity, since I can imagine a lot of people would be happy to spend a few bucks for key pages in a book they wouldn't otherwise buy. It all depends on the price, which wasn't announced. But unlike Google, which is being sued by some publishers, Amazon clearly is striving to make friends instead of enemies.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.