Google are set to launch their own e-book store this year called “Editions“. Due in June or early July, will rival Apple’s iBookstore and Amazon’s Kindle by offering around half a million titles not restricted to any one device.
“It is a different approach to what most readers today have and the vision is to be able to access books in a device agnostic way,” said Google spokesperson Gabriel Sticker.
It remains unclear how pricing will be structured, or whether Google or the publishers will decide the prices, but freedom is a key selling point for Google’s e-books. Customers will be free to read the books on any device of their choosing, be that an e-reader, mobile phone, laptop, tablet or PC.
Google will promote the service through its Book Search tool, offering customers the chance to buy an “Editions” copy of any title they are licensed to sell. The Google Editions shop will also be embeddable, meaning retailers will be able to sell Google e-books through their own websites.
Google may not have always seen eye-to-eye with publishers, many of home were sceptical of the motivation behind their plan to “digitally preserve” every book of all time (so far Google have scanned some 12 million). But anything that puts more money in the publisher’s pockets will surely melt the ice between the two camps.
While Amazon’s Kindle currently holds pole position in the e-books market, Google are a force to be reckoned with. Their open system puts reader’s convenience as a priority, and could prove very lucrative.
By Gerald Lynch | May 5th, 2010