Formally known as Google Editions, today the mighty search engine company rolled out the much anticipated http://books.google.com/ where US based owners can now purchase the books. International users will have to wait to next year in order to start purchasing ebooksAmazon. Google said its digital books are compatible with a number of reading devices, including the Barnes and Noble Nook and Sony e-reader, but are not compatible with the Kindle .
So who determines the price of the book? Well Google is going with the Agency Model and allowing publishers to establish their own prices. Sell a book and get 70 percent of the list price for each sale. For non-agency books sold on Google’s site, in which Google sets the price itself, Google will pay publishers 52 percent of the sale price.
Google said it also has partnership with independent booksellers who will allow people to sell ebooks off of their own websites or blogs.
James Crawford, the directory of engineering at Google said “Our pricing strategy is to be competitive,” relative to other electronic book offerings. For many best-seller titles, he added, pricing is set by the publishers, to whom Google will in most cases pay 70 percent of the list price for each sale. For so-called non-agency books sold on Google’s site, in which Google sets the price itself, Google will pay publishers 52 percent of the sale price.
Don’t have an e-reader? Do not worry! Google is making e-book reading applications for Android, Apple, Blackberry, PC’s and MACS.
Certainly its about time Google rolled out their book store, they do have some experience with their open source classic library they started a few years ago. But after much litigation over the ownership of public domain works, Google decided to the other route, and deal with publishers, and authors directly to sell copyrighted work and get a take.
Its great authors and publishing companies can now directly list books with into the Google eBook Store and get a strong return for each sale, and also get tremendous visibility on the Google Search Engine.
When we took at a look at the prices to see how competitive they were versus the competition. The books on display seem to be priced almost identical with Amazon and Barnes and Noble, with a few exceptions (Cross Fire, by James Patterson, is $14.99 at Google’s store, compared to $12.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.) Most popular books are priced between $9.99 and $12.99. So it looks like Google is not going to take the Amazon route, and drastically undercut all of the competition to dominate the ebook market.
Another nice new facet is just how many options you have to buy a book you want to read. So lets consider our previous example, Crossfire, and we had options to buy from; Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, Indiebound, Alibris, Qoop, Amazon and more! It also had an option to search your closet library for that particular book.
Can we be too far off from Google running advertisements in their books if you decide to read them on a branded Google e-Reading application? What do you think?
Check out the new Google eBook Store.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.