At the Frankfurt Book Fair, Google revealed its plans to launch Google Editions, an online store to sell e-books. The company says the store will launch in the first half of 2010 with about half a million e-books.
The e-books will come from publishers with whom Google already works, and unlike Amazon’s Kindle e-reader/store, the Google-hosted e-books will be readable on any device with a web browser. That places Google’s plans in line with Sony’s Reader, which also supports open standards-based e-books. From the Reuters story:
Forrester media analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said Google would not necessarily steal market share from Amazon, although it would strengthen the position of others who support open standards usable across a range of devices, such as Sony’s.
“Certainly it presents collective competition to Amazon, but for many consumers the word ‘e-reader’ is synonymous with the Kindle,” she said.
In addition to Google Editions, Google-hosted e-books will also be available for sale on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, Reuters reports. Google will share e-book revenue with publishers and, if the e-book is bought somewhere other than Google’s store, with the retailer that sells it. When Google sells the e-book directly, publishers will get 63% of revenue and Google will keep the rest. When a third-party retailer sells the e-book, the publisher will get 45%, and the retailer will get “most of the remaining 55%,” Google said.