Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Google Books

I find it hard to believe that the blogosphere isn't humming with Google's opening of its own ebookstore. Nary a mention on any of the writing lists I follow either. Maybe I dreamed it last night and it doesn't exist...

I just checked. Yup. It's really there. Have ebooks become so common now that no one cares about this? Or with all the holiday preparations has it just slipped under the radar?

It offers similar functionality to other ebook sites with support for reading on the Web, the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Nook, Sony and Android devices. Notice the lack of Kindle support. Another feature unique to Google Books is its partnership with independent bookstores for sales. I'm not exactly sure how this will work. I haven't dug into the store that deeply to see if you can choose to buy a book from your local independent, thus giving them a cut, or it means you can buy an ebook from Google in a bookstore and they get the credit.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the presentation. Amazon still has the best search engine if you're looking for a book and can't quite remember the title or author. I'm a Nook user, so I'm used to using the B&N site for most of my buying, although I've downloaded from manybooks as well. I did check one book on Google Books that's been on my wishlist, just to compare pricing. Amazon and B&N tend to be about equal, with Amazon often being a few cents cheaper. I was amazed that the Google price for my wishlist book was several dollars higher than B&N. No incentive there.

In Googling Google Books (that looks incestuous somehow), I see a hot off the presses news release that Amazon is going to partner with other merchants for sales of Kindle books. It's a little murky as to what this means. One sentence in the article appears to say this will allow it to be included in Google Books. A few sentences more and it says it will partner with independents. I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what this means.

Competition just has to be good for the ebook market. I'd seriously like to see publishers get the idea that ebooks should not be more expensive than paperbacks.

Well, on to writing tonight. I mean, other than this blog.
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