October 15, 2009
Google's Book Store
I'm not really all that surprised. In fact, I was expecting it.
According to a New York Times article, Google will launch Google Editions, an electronic book store to rival the Amazon/Kindle duo. Unlike Amazon and Kindle, Google Editions will permit you to download e-books to any device that has a web browser. Google Editions seems to be an alternative distribution agent that will enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books direct to consumers through Google - although, I still don't seem to understand why the publishers cannot do this themselves. Early reports indicate that they will not be introducing a new reader, just a forum for purchasing e-books.
According to the NY Times article, "the e-book retail program would be separate from the company’s settlement with authors and publishers over its book-scanning project, under which Google has scanned more than seven million volumes from several university libraries."
I find this hard to fathom. It may be unclear how the two projects will impact each other, but how separate can they be? The L.A. Times writes that this is the first effort by Google to start earning revenue off the book scanning project. That seems like a more honest assessment. The Google book settlement cleared the way for Google to sell access to the scanned volumes. Incidentally, revisions to the Google book settlement are due in court on November 9th, 2009. Google Editions is scheduled to launch sometime in the first half of 2010.
News reports indicate that the Google e-book store will house somewhere between 400,000 to 600,000 titles which is larger than the 300,000 titles available for Kindle users. Unlike Amazon, users can purchase titles from multiple publishers and use Google as a distribution center that lets them access the books. Google plans on hosting the e-books and making them searchable using their fabled search engine that is working so well with the books they have already scanned. According to multiple blog reports, you can access the e-books even when not connected to the internet by viewing a cached copy on your device. Cached copy? I am not seeing the word download associated with Google Editions. That's weird. I'm not sure I like that, though I'm not sure why ... yet. (VS)
This is definitely going to save me some textbook dollars...
Posted by: edwin sanchez | Oct 15, 2009 7:29:00 PM