News is that Google is set to launch its digital books market as soon as this summer. It’s a move that has deep implications for digital booksellers Apple and Amazon - and for the rest of the book trade.
The Google Editions store will create an open platform where to anyone with a web-enabled device, whether smartphone, netbook, e-reader or tablet from
According to reports, the company is currently working to bring publishers on board with the new platform, but as yet it’s believed that none have signed up.
The move will challenge both Apple, whose iBookstore titles can only be read by iPhone or iPad users, as well as Amazon and its Kindle Store. Both rely on having signficant numbers of books on their stores to make their technology the e-reader choice for their customers.
Google Editions will only sell books that publishers have put forward - and as yet, of course, it seems to have none. But in a move that should prove interesting for the book industry, it’s also to allow retailers to sell books through their own websites.
Our view: The market for digital books is developing quickly. The move by Google means that no longer will consumers be tied to particular suppliers by the reading technology that they have – as long as they can get the publishers onboard.
It’ll be interesting to see where this market goes from here? Will retailers adopt the Google Editions model, or find their own? Or will it be the publishers who circumvent the loop by doing it themselves?