Google Editions to take on Apple's iBooks

Google Editions eBook Store launching end of 2010

Google is expected to launch an online eBook store before the end of the year under the name of Google Editions and that once again puts the head to head against Apple and their new iBooks:

The long-delayed venture—Google executives had said they hoped to launch this summer—recently has cleared several technical and legal hurdles, people close to the company say. It is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and internationally in the first quarter of next year, said Scott Dougall, a Google product management director.

Google will handle their eBook store differently from how Apple or Amazon play the game, opting for a "read anywhere" model where users can purchase an eBook from Google (or an online retail partner) and it's added to an online library tied to your Google account. Users can then access their Google account from a number of devices including smartphones and tablets.

No word yet on revenue sharing (iBooks is 70/30), which publishing companies have signed up, or which partners will come on board. However, Google's reach is not to be underestimated:

Google says it is on a mission to reach all Internet users, not just those with tablets, through a program in which websites refer their users to Google Editions. For example, a surfing-related blog could recommend a surfing book, point readers to Google Editions to purchase it, and share revenue with Google. Through another program, booksellers could sell Google Editions e-books from their websites and share revenue with Google.

Keeping things on the cloud is nothing new for Google and it's worked well for services like Gmail. If Google Editions is successful could it have a negative impact on iBooks but, like Amazon's Kindle app, add value to iPad and iPhone at the same time?

Let us know in the comments!

[[WSJ](http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704369304575632602305759466.html]

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 9 comments. Add yours.

Rene Ritchie says:

I like the idea of digital lockers so I can access my content at any time from any device, but I'd like the ability to selectively download content and keep it locally as well. Sometimes I won't be online, sometimes I don't want to have to worry about bad connections or buffering.
Online for catalog, download for current consumables is a hybrid model I'd really like.

(Copy of) Dev says:

Agreed with Rene. The article is not clear, but if Google Editions offers offline reading (and syncing place in the book with your online locker), this could be a really, really nice product. Otherwise, not so much.

JD says:

Just what we need.. another eBook provider. Why does Google have to do everything everyone else does? At least their stuff never gets out of beta.

marktaylor#AC says:

As mentioned, I would prefer some sort of offline mode...when traveling by plane for instance. I would also suggest that this is aimed towards Amazon and BN as well as, or even more so, than iBooks.

fastlane says:

Sorry Google. I prefer something more than just a list of blue underlined text titles to click on (like everything else you make).

Gerald Shields says:

Google Editions to take on Apple’s iBooks . . . and Amazon Kindle . . . and Barnes & Noble Nook . . . and Border's eReader. Good Luck Google.

dantv says:

What a pathetic company Google has become...Not a single original product the past few years only what can we (Google) copy from Apple or Twitter or Facebook....

jzajzz says:

I think Ibook will probably follow Google Editions footsteps instead of just sticking to the ipad and iphone only

jasonact says:

I like that Google is getting into this arena. The more the merrier! Competition between these huge companies can only be good for the consumer. No idea how successful this will be (as always, it will come down to selection and implementation), but I welcome their contributions.
Personally, I prefer iBooks implementation much more than the others, but their selection leaves a lot to be desired. Amazon and B&N have the opposite problem, IMO. If Google can borrow from the best of both, they could have a real winner.