Google Oh So Close To Launching E-Book Store

Back in May, it was being reported that Google was planning on having its new E-book store up and running by the end of summer. Obviously that didn’t happen. Now the Wall Street Journal says Google Editions is likely to be a reality by year’s end.

From WSJ:

Google Editions hopes to upend the existing e-book market by offering an open, “read anywhere” model that is different from many competitors. Users will be able to buy books directly from Google or from multiple online retailers–including independent bookstores–and add them to an online library tied to a Google account. They will be able to access their Google accounts on most devices with a Web browser, including personal computers, smartphones and tablets.

Google Editions won’t just be a destination retail site, but will be use the search engine to push people to related topics. It will also offer revenue sharing deals to sites that direct people to purchase E-books at Google Editions.

Says one independent book publisher:

Google is going to turn every Internet space that talks about a book into a place where you can buy that book… The Google model is going to drive a lot of sales. We think they could get 20% of the e-book market very fast.

The pricing for Google Editions E-books is reported to be similar to that of titles currently being sold by Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Google Set to Launch E-Book Venture [WSJ]

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  1. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    This makes me happy. The internet has already saved a lot of obscure titles from being out-of-print and impossible to find, and Google has been what, scanning books from libraries and the like for a while now, as I recall, so they probably have tons of stuff that hasn’t been around for a while. While a print book can last decades, when nobody is printing it and the “ownership” is uncertain, it might as well not exist except for the few people who stumble across it. :/

    … I wonder how well they’d handle Choose your Own Adventure titles, there are five or six of those I’d love to play again.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Oh noes! Does that mean all of the free previews will go away? I can usually read most of an entire book through Google books :(

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    It looks like Google is going to use PDF instead of ePUB and will tell publishers that DRM is optional. You can read PDF files on the Kindle, but you definitely can’t read ePUB. Sony and B&N readers support PDF and ePUB, as well as proprietary DRM (if it’s Adobe).

    • Mauvaise says:

      It’s true that Kindle can’t read ePUB, but Calibre is free software that will convert ePub to something readable on Kindle.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        That is true. Calibre will convert ePUB files, but just not anything with non-Amazon approved DRM on it.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    THANK YOU!!

    This is what I have been waiting for. I steadfastly have said no to e-readers because publishers and e-reader manufacturers would not create a universal system of access to e-books. They have all been greedy and wanted to keep their product readable on only their device. This is one step towards having a true electronic version of a real book.

    Now, if Google can get publishers to charge the real cost of the books instead of jacking up the price beyond the actual cost of printing…which is zero.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      PDF and ePUB are as “universal” as it really gets (DRM terms would still feasibly prevent you from reading a book on any device at any time you want). Amazon is the only company that uses its own proprietary software, and does not support ePUB docs that use Adobe DRM (nearly all public libraries use Adobe DRM).

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        And I am vehemently opposed to DRM restrictions to e-books. Physical books have no licensing, and neither should e-books. Knowledge should not be stifled by greed.

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          The problem being that it is considerably easier to copy a file than it is to copy an entire book. I am looking forward to a wider ability to give money to authors in exchange for books, skipping the publishers entirely. There are sites out there that offer something like that, like Book View Cafe, which offers DRM-free files in a variety of formats on the honor system.

          I guess I see both sides though, because I do rather loathe the DRM handicap especially when I would want to read a book on say, my computer, or on my work computer, or on my netbook, or on some future portable device I might purchase.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            What I didn’t know about B&N, and only found a few weeks ago, is that you can read anything you buy via the Nook store on the iPhone app or the Nook or iPad or anything else that Nook supports. I bought a book and when I forgot my Nook at home, I kept reading using my iPhone app. The book is “physically” located on my Nook, but it’s also accessible in a cloud through my iPhone app. I liked that a lot.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          In most cases, I’m opposed to DRM, but DRM is necessary for public libraries because the entire function of a public library is to offer the books as a public service. If you have to return a physical book or else get a fine, you also have to return an ebook you get from the library. DRM makes it easy for users to return the book to the library once they are done, face a fine if they keep the ebook, and allow the library just to take the ebook back when your lending period is over.

          I don’t like DRM when it comes to things I purchase and own, but it’s something that will require a lot of discussion as Google has made DRM optional, but has not abolished it.

        • mythago says:

          And by “greed” you mean “the desire of publishers and authors to actually make money, instead of giving everything away for free”?

  4. Winfield says:

    I hope they include page numbers.

  5. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This will be awesome, as long as they have reasonably priced epubs, I’m in!

  6. sk1d says:

    Anyone know of a good torrent site for epubs?

  7. TooManyHobbies says:

    Extremely cool. As long as they support ePub so I can load them onto my non-internet-connected (and I LIKE it that way darnit) Sony Reader, and they’re competitive with the Sony ebookstore (which is, in turn, competitive with Amazon Kindle) they’ll get my money.

  8. bon13 says:

    So – can anyone confirm if I’ll be able to get google editions e-books on a kindle without lots of workarounds?

  9. gman863 says:

    Oh God! Not this format war shit again…

    Even though I’m well-versed in electronics (a.k.a. “geek”), this my-file-won’t-play-on-your-device crap is getting old.

    In the ’70s it was VHS versus Betamax. Then HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray. iTunes versus .mp3 and .wma.

    The first two format wars were won by a knockout, leaving customers who purchased the loser format with an expensive device turned oversize paperweight. How iTunes maintains its market share in the face of DRM-free (not copy protected) paid downloads from Amazon is beyond me: If paying for music, I do not want to have to register the PC or go through extra steps to “convert” it to play on a non-Apple device.

    PDF for e-books is the most logical solution. I refuse to pay $139 for a one-trick-pony Kindle when I already travel with a notebook PC (larger screen, color and more storage capacity).

    Although Kindle is the e-book leader now, this should serve as a warning. As a result of JVC licensing its patents to other manufacturers; VHS killed Sony’s propriatary Betamax format. Microsoft was one of only a few giants behind the now defunct HD-DVD format. If Amazon keeps marketing their books in a Kindle-only format, Kindle may eventually join the other losers in the “Where Are They Now” list of electronics.

    • Draw2much says:

      Go Google, GO!

      The thing is Google is big enough to be real competition to Amazon and B&N. And I like the idea of them making ebooks available to smaller publishers. There are so many awesome books out there just waiting for their chance. This could be it! *crosses fingers*

      I just bought a Kindle 3, waiting for it to come in the mail right now. I already got Calibre installed and ready for possible conversion issues. (Not sure what Amazon has against that file format since they’re allowing PDF now…) Excited to lighten the load of books I’ve been hauling around the world the past 7 years. :)

      • Draw2much says:

        *sighs* This wasn’t suppose to be a reply to you. Sorry. D:

        I really hate the comment system on this website. >_