Google will be launching its eBook store within the next two months. With Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the new Apple iBookstore, will Google be able to compete? Will audiobooks be a consideration?
The Kindle, Nook, and iPad eBooks can be downloaded directly to a device. Books purchased through Google Editions will need web delivery and device upload and will be able to be used on almost any platform.
Other Retailers to Access Online Store
Interestingly, Google Editions is going to allow other retailers to offer access to the online store. Rather than launch affiliate programs, bookstores will be able to offer an online Google Editions bookstore. What the advantages of this program will be is as yet uncertain, although some sites report that the stores using this program will keep the majority of the profits from each sale. Other than that, there seems to be more questions than answers…
Pricing Structure Still Unknown
Pricing is, of course, a huge question when it comes to digital books. With the publishers forcing Amazon’s hand for the right to set higher prices, it is unknown whether Google will also allow publishers to set prices or if they will make pricing decisions.
What About the Features?
It would seem that Google is really keeping its Edition secret. There have been no rumors about the appearance or features of the store. Many questions have been raised about basic use, such as bookmarking, but nothing has been answered at this point.
My hope is that Google offers some useful apps for use on mobile devices in addition to the usual eBook features. I would particularly like to see a dictionary, notepad, and of course, bookmarks. It would be great if the so-called “cloud storage” system would allow for book lending, similar to the Nook. I also hope that the digital storefronts for indie booksellers help keep their businesses alive.
Other Electronic Reader News
In other eReader news, the Nook recently released an update that included optimized performance, Chess and Sudoku games, Wi-Fi connectivity in more places, a basic web browser, and an option to read entire books when in a B&N store for free. I am still coveting an eReader, but don’t have one. If I had to choose today, I would likely pick Nook over Kindle.
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