First Google, now Amazon, UM has certainly got connections. They announced this week a plan to offer book reprints for sale on Amazon as reprints on demand. According to their press release,”The University of Michigan will make thousands of books that are no longer in copyright — including rare and one-of-a-kind titles — available as reprints on demand under a new agreement with BookSurge, part of the Amazon.com group of companies. The agreement gives the public a unique opportunity to buy reprints of a wide range of titles in the U-M Library for as little as a few dollars. As individual copies are sold on Amazon.com, BookSurge will print and bind the books in soft-cover form.”I’m assuming that UM will use its Espresso book machine to do the printing. What’s interesting is seeing both Google and Amazon involved in the project. According to the UM FAQ on the agreement, ”The university has an agreement with Google to do what it does best: Create digital copies of these books. Now the university has an agreement with a unit of Amazon to do what it does best: Sell books and other items very efficiently on the Internet. We think both are great partnerships and the companies agree. In addition, the university will eventually share some of its proceeds with Google on the sale of books that were digitized by Google.” A previous press release from UM stated no interest in getting in the shipping business, so the Amazon deal makes perfect sense. But sharing some proceeds with Google, now that’s hard for me to swallow. Good luck UM.