Google to ‘level retail playing field’ with ‘Google Editions’ e-book service

GoogleGoogle is clearly looking to mark its foray into the emerging, high potential, e-book market – planning to commence the online selling of digital books via its forthcoming service, ‘Google Editions’, which will become operational in late June or July.

Google, which has been discussing its vision for online distribution of books for quite some years now, intends distinguishing its ‘Google Editions’ platform from competitors – essentially Apple and Amazon, at present – by giving users the accessibility to books from a wide range of websites, using a multitude of devices.

While the key focus of Apple and Amazon is on e-book proprietary devices and software; Google will not only enable users to buy digital copies of books they find via its book-search service, but will also allow book retailers, including independent shops, to sell Google Editions on their own sites, for a large chunk of the revenue generated.

According to Chris Palma, manager for strategic-partner development at Google, though the company is yet to zero in on the model it will follow for the pricing of the e-books; the copies of all works – for which the company strikes sales deals - will feature on its servers.

Noting that Google Editions virtually “levels the retail playing field,” Evan Schnittman, the Oxford University Press’ VP of global business development, said: “This is an electronic product that consumers can get anywhere as long as they have a Google account.”