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Google to launch e-book store

Google to launch e-book store

While Google Books has long offered free books - and, more recently, magazines - the company is now looking to sell e-books.

Google is looking to take Amazon on head-to-head in the electronic book marketplace, if reports circulating the Web are accurate.

According to an article over on CNet, the search and advertising giant is hoping to capitalise on its e-book expertise - hard-won through its book scanning and digitisation project, which started offering digital downloads of out-of-copyright material back in 2006 - with a deal which will see it offering upwards of half a million digital books for sale from publishers it has already entered into agreements with.

The figures certainly look tempting for publishers: for e-books sold directly through Google's own site the publishers will see 63 percent of the sale price, with Google keeping the remaining 37 percent. However, the company is also looking to offer the digital content it has licensed through third-party sites including Amazon - which will see the share switch to 45 percent for the publisher and 55 percent for the reselling website, of which a tiny proportion is returned to Google.

While this offers threatened online e-book stores a reason not to complain - after all, expanding your digital stock by half a million titles is nothing to be sniffed at - it's clear that publishers will be looking to get their hands on the additional 18 percent share on offer by pushing Google's own store as heavily as possible.

Google has stated that it has no plans to offer a dedicated Google E-Book Reader device similar to Amazon's own Kindle, instead relying on the devices already available in the marketplace. While the company has made no reference to what - if any - DRM technology it will be attempting to prevent piracy with, the company already has experience with the widely-supported and open ePub format which can be paired with Adobe's Digital Editions DRM system.

Do you believe that Google could make a good go of becoming an e-book reseller, or are you still not convinced that electronic books are worth the hassle? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

11 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
mi1ez 16th October 2009, 14:46 Quote
Here comes trouble!
perplekks45 16th October 2009, 16:07 Quote
Google's already getting sued in Europe for breaking copyright. Apparently they made a deal with North America's publishers but "forgot" the European publishers. They then scanned a hell of a lot of books which are under European copyright w/o paying off the publishers.

Fun, fun.
TWeaK 16th October 2009, 18:27 Quote
Even though I love computers and think the internet is the best source of information going, I still prefer reading something in hard copy. I think it's to do with the frequency and flickering effect monitors give, so perhaps when very high frequency monitors become more common (something like true 600Hz, not the sub-field drive 'upscaling' ones mind) it might not be an issue.

I think Google will stand a good chance of getting into this market successfully, but to be honest they stand a good chance of getting into any market. Either way, this isn't something I'm particularly interested in right now
Ploo 17th October 2009, 12:16 Quote
... soon we'll buy our groceries from food.google.com
Perforated 17th October 2009, 12:16 Quote
TWeaK - I've only limited experience of electrophoretic e-paper - a look at a couple of ereaders in Waterstones and ownership of a Motorola F3 as an emergency back-up phone - I find they're actually pretty easy to read. The technology is such that there's no such thing as flicker. I don't think the eBook idea is really aimed at being read on monitors.

I'm almost tempted to jump on this whole bandwagon, but prices will have to drop a little first. I appreciate the freely available books and the smaller mass compared to a hardcopy paperback, but £200-ish negates that saving for a LONG time!

Also, flicking back through a hundred pages in a few seconds to remind myself of some obscure-yet-crucial detail gets a bit harder on an eBook. That's a pretty big deal with my short-term memory deficiencies!

Incidentally, is there a text string search included on any/most/all of these machines?
perplekks45 17th October 2009, 13:58 Quote
ePaper is nice enough, sure. But, for me at least, it will never replace REAL paper.
GravitySmacked 17th October 2009, 23:43 Quote
I'd like to hear Amazon's response to this.
bridgesentry 19th October 2009, 03:48 Quote
I think this is a chance for VERY RARE BOOKS to become available online. For example: "Arch of Triumph" anyone?:D
Silver51 19th October 2009, 09:14 Quote
So how many of these ebooks are going to be pirated? It's not like books haven't been copied in the past, but won't the increase in digital adaptation make it easier for books to be copied?
bridgesentry 19th October 2009, 09:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally post by Silver51:
So how many of these ebooks are going to be pirated? It's not like books haven't been copied in the past, but won't the increase in digital adaptation make it easier for books to be copied?
Yes! I have no way other than agreeing! Even I would never be able to read it on screen. I really wish my favorite book will never be pirated:D
Abhorsen 19th October 2009, 09:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
Even though I love computers and think the internet is the best source of information going, I still prefer reading something in hard copy. I think it's to do with the frequency and flickering effect monitors give, so perhaps when very high frequency monitors become more common (something like true 600Hz, not the sub-field drive 'upscaling' ones mind) it might not be an issue.

I think Google will stand a good chance of getting into this market successfully, but to be honest they stand a good chance of getting into any market. Either way, this isn't something I'm particularly interested in right now


Agreed, however when it comes to Computer books, i.e For Dummies etc, i find it far more beneficial to have it as an e-book.
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