Google to launch its own e-book store

5 May 2010

The competition heats up in the e-book market as Google intends to launch its own e-book store, called Google Editions, as early as June 2010.

Nestling alongside the likes of the Amazon Kindle store and Apple’s iBookstore, the big difference with Google Editions is that it is web-based and therefore not tied down to any one device like its competitors.

The advantages of being able to move e-books from device to device instead of having them locked into one are clear, however, this will mean a uniform web-browser type experience for displaying text as opposed to something tailored especially for e-books, such as e-ink on the Kindle or the low-lighting mode on the iPad for the iBook application.

With this web-based e-book store, it looks as though users will be able to read e-books from any device on any platform, from the desktop to a tablet device or mobile handset.

At a publishing event – The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud? – held at Random House in New York, Google’s manager for strategic-partner development, Chris Palma, said that the e-book store would be open for business as early as late June or early July.

While these dates are for a US launch, there is no word on when the service will be available in Europe.

The service is expected to have around 500,000 titles at launch and the payment model means that publishers will receive about 63pc of gross sales while Google gets the remaining 37pc.

Previously talked about by Tom Turvey, head of Google Book Search’s publisher partnership program, Google Editions is essentially e-books in the cloud whereby Google Gears will allow for automatic offline reading of purchased e-books.

By Marie Boran