Google Inc. is in the final stages of launching its long-awaited e-book retailing venture, Google Editions, a move that could shake up the way digital books are sold.
The long-delayed venture—Google executives had said they hoped to launch this summer—recently has cleared several technical and legal hurdles, people close to the company say. It is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and internationally in the first quarter of next year, said Scott Dougall, a Google product management director.
In recent weeks, independent booksellers, which are expected to play a big role in Google Editions, began receiving contracts from their trade group. Several publishers said they were exchanging files with Google—a sign that it is close to launch, publishers say.
"Because of the complexity of this project, we didn't want to come out with something that wasn't thorough," Mr. Dougall said....
Includes video interview in pop-up player with Amir Efrati of the Wall Street Journal, about what Google's entry means for the online book market.
4:18 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
The book market is a tough market to crack. A real tough market to crack :). They've got to get consumers, publishers and authors all on board. And right now, none of them are. Publishers likely never will be, consumers are changing slowly, but are being attached to other retailers like apple, and authors, that's a whole other kettle of fish.
Predict 98% probability of another Google fail. Maybe 99%.
4:25 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
Unless google has a customer service epiphany they're doomed to fail.
8:40 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
If they manage to take the confusion (which books can I read on which device and more importantly WHERE can I download them) out of it, I think the consumer is ready to embrace an open e book format!
They might just do it ;)
10:47 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
a customer service epiphany
LOL - that's one good way of putting it.
Launching a service where users need to download things and purchase online - they had better had a good customer service team lined up as there are a lot of dumb-a$$es out there as well as more technically accomplished users that will need help with even some of the most basic tasks.
Can't see this working - 90% chance of failure.
11:34 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
They do plan to pay, and get approval from, all of the publishers who add content to this right?
9:09 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
Very sick of Google. Especially because they will support this service in the SERPS just like they do with youtube and blogspot. Google a book's name? Or type of book (e.g. "web design book"). First result is the Google book store entry.
Not good! This effectively forces authors to participate and undercut themselves to get ranked.