Google Launches Largest Online Bookstore

December 6, 2010

4:13 pm

This could be a troubling day for Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple as the eBook race just added another competitor: Google. Last week there was an announcement from Google and today they launched the Google eBookstore. But they didn’t just launch it with a few titles, Google launched with over 3 million titles, many of which are free, making it the largest ebookstore online.

The publishing industry is undergoing massive change and with new ways to publish, purchase and consume, this is an important industry to watch. That’s why we started covering the self-publishing market in a series of posts including this one and this one. The question is, how will Google’s massive eBookstore affect writers and consumers? What does this mean for the industry?

Google Ebooks

  • Google’s ebook reader is virtually platform agnostic. You can use it on Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Nook, Sony and the Web. The app is free of course, and depending on your device, can store thousands of titles, search within books, read offline and in “night mode” and their’s an auto-bookmarking feature, allowing you to always pick up wherever you left off. This is an important part of how…
  • Google wants to help manage your reading. Google states that the idea behind Google eBooks is to truly set your reading free from all of the limitations set by today’s multiple platforms. Google wants to store all of your books in the cloud, allowing you access your book from any device you happen to be on at the time, at the exact place you left off previously, even if that was on a different device.
  • Google wants to be your book provider. They want to be the jumping off point for finding books – essentially offering the world’s largest selection of ebooks:

Read nearly 3 million free ebooks and hundreds of thousands of titles that are ready for purchase; with Google eBooks, you have access to the world’s largest selection of ebooks and unlimited storage in the digital cloud.

  • Google wants to be known for “choice”. The Google eBookstore will offer you millions of books, but you can also buy from a growing number of independent booksellers and retail partners. The big selling point? No matter where you buy your Google eBooks, you’ll get the same access and usage rights and privileges.

But what does this mean for you?

Well, if you have one of the supported devices, you can download their app and get started browsing their selections today. But what if you are one of the millions of Kindle owners? Google says: “Currently, Google eBooks are not compatible with Amazon Kindle devices, though we are open to supporting them in the future.” Amazon has a legion of dedicated Kindle owners, so we don’t suspect Amazon will want to open up their install base to Google anytime soon.

That said, Google eBooks can be read with any dedicated eBook reader that supports the Adobe eBook platform. That’s a pretty decent sized list with more than 85 devices support the Adobe eBook platform today including including readers from Sony, Aluratek Libre, Astak EZ Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook™ and Nook Color™, BeBook, Bookeen, COOL-ER, Elonex eBook, HanLin eBook, IREX Digital Reader, Neolux Nuut, and more. You can see the entire list of Adobe eBook Platform supported devices.

As for all current and future self-publishers, Google Books allows publishers and authors to submit their books for inclusion in Google’s search results. You’ll then have access to Google Preview code that allows you to embed previews of your books on your personal website. Your visitors can browse and search within your book, directly from your book’s product page. You’ll also have access to include online reports so you can view how many consumers have looked at your titles, see click rates on purchase links, and review other stats related to the Google Books program. We’ll be watching to see if they add more services for self-publishers in the future.

Learn more about the new Google eBookstore by watching the video below:

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Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.

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