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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Google To Launch It' Own Ebook Store i.e Google Editions

The Google Editions service is expected to launch in the United States by the end of the year, with international availability following in January, the company confirmed.

The online ebook store will allow users to download millions of books. Those wishing to download ebooks for their ebook readers, computers or smartphones will pay 80 per cent of the print edition’s lowest price, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Google Editions is expected to offer a “read anywhere” business model, with ebooks available from Google itself as well as other online retailers, tied together by a single Google online account to create a virtual library. Users will be able to access their library on a variety of web-enabled devices through the browser.

Experts say Google’s approach could prove disruptive in the fledgling ebook market. Amazon currently dominates the space, with an estimated two-thirds market share. Amazon Kindle users can only download ebooks from the Amazon website, though they can also be read on a variety of devices running the Amazon Kindle app.

Google Editions would help to make ebooks platform-agnostic, and could provide a lifeline for struggling independent publishers and booksellers struggling to get a foothold in the digital age.

Google has already embarked on an ambitious effort to scan more than 150 million books and make them accessible online, through its website. The search company said it had digitised around 10 per cent of the collection.

Worldwide digital book sales are expected to reach around $966 million this year, according to Forrester Research, while experts predict that around 15 million ebook reading devices will have been sold this year.

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