There are millions (billions?) more browsers than ebook readers, so why not use the browser as an ereader? You can walk into a bookstore and buy any book. Not so with ebooks, e.g. Kindle locks you into ebooks from Amazon. Google no like … Google Books mantra: buy anywhere, read anywhere. So Google moves into the ereader market with Google Editions — it’s browser-based and in the cloud (of course)!
How it works: Users preview book on Google.com. They can buy the book directly from Google.com or through retailer site. User then owns a Google Edition ebook. All users books will then be online and accessible anywhere, anytime in the cloud in their Google Books library. Further:
- eBooks will be full colour (they were scanned in colour)
- Social features / sharing margin notes
- Seamless reading between devices
- Using HTML5, users can also read offline
- Simple ereader interface in the browser
- Will support DRM and DRM-free content (depending on publisher requirements)
- Will allow copy/paste/print or not (depending on publisher requirements)
- Revenue split when buying directly from Google Books: 37% to Google, 63% to publisher
- Territory rights of the publishers will be respected (not sure how they’re going to do this)
- You’re not locked into Google if you buy their books.You can take the files with you if you leave. And devices should be able to access the open-standards data. Google Books is part of the Data Liberation Front at Google
- Ideas: bundling ebook with print book
- The Google eReader will launch in 2010, mostly likely in the early part of second half of the year.
Abe: “This is a great year for ebooks and Google’s gonna be part of that.”
OK, so this is all very interesting. Yes, Google will still be a
controlling party in the value chain (let’s not forget that they make
money … they don’t just love freeing information for the love of it).
But their control will be less restrictive than current publishers.
Definitely a space to watch.