According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Google’s long awaited Google Editions could launch as soon as this month.
There has been talk of Google entering the e-book business since 2009, but has continually been delayed, until now. Editions will allow customers to purchase books that they find through not only Google’s Book Search but throughout the internet. In other words customers will be able to purchase books directly from Google in addition to several online retailers including a number of independent stores. From there, users will be able to store their books in an online library that is linked to your google account.
What will give Editions it competitive advantage over more established retailers like Amazon, is the fact that users will be able to access their books through phones, tablets, and web browsers. As Kindle owners will know you are only allowed to download e-books from Amazon.com. Editions will allow anyone to read anything on the device of their choosing. So despite being a late comer to the e-book industry, Editions has a huge advantage, as their technology is not dependant on specific devices.
Google has also been hard at work signing deals with a number of major publishers, meaning that Editions is going to be able to offer hundreds of thousands of e-books to users and likely millions more for free. This should position Editions as the largest e-book store right from day one.
Editions hopes to cater to independent publishers as well. One way the plan on doing this is when you come across a book recommendation on a blog or website, it will point readers to Google Editions to purchase it, and share revenue with Google. Another program they hope will interest independent publishers is allowing booksellers to sell Google Editions e-books from their websites and share revenue with Google. In other words, Google wants to turn every place where books are talked about online, a place where consumers can potentially purchase that book.
With pricing expected to be similar to books found on Amazon and other competitors, it will be interesting to see what impact Editions will have on the e-book industry.