Google is planning to compete directly with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple on the eBook front in the summer of 2011 with Google Editions.
Speaking at a panel discussion held by Random House today, Chris Palma, Google’s manager for strategic partner development, said Google Editions would launch in June or July, offering digital versions of the titles on its book search service. The company says the ebooks will work across multiple devices, and, unlike the ebooks of iPad and Kindle, any device with a browser will be able to view the books. Customers with a Google account will be able to access the service.
Readers will be able to buy digital copies they find through Google’s book search function and book retailers will be able to sell Google Editions on their own sites, getting most of the revenue from sales. Google Editions will be browser based, offering the latest digital books without locking customers to a specific device.
The question is how easy will this really be. And why just books? For a company as massive, profitable and success as Google, it feels like the company doesn’t have a cohesive strategy does it? Apple does and so does Amazon, but Google is all over the place. The make little inroads here or there, but there’s nothing tying together their various product launches.
Anyways, the notion of an open book platform that is accessible through any browser on any system is a good strategy. According to the International Business Times, the service will actually launch by the end of this year, with an international rollout in the summer of 2011.
Consumers have the flexibility to pay through a Google account or through an online retailer. Once a Google Edition e-book is purchased it is stored in an online book shelf which can be accessed by users from theirbrowser from any web-based device.
The business model is based on revenue-sharing between Google and publishers while the onus of processing the payment lies with Google. Also Google can avail discounts on books as it bundles titles with other complimentary products from retailers.
At least one person thinks this will be better for indie publishers of small titles than for big publishing houses, not unlike what the digital revolution has done to the music industry. [via Dvice]