Google Editions e-books: the ultimate Kindle and iPad killer?

 a close up of an open book, side view

The Google Editions launch date promises to turn the e-book publishing world into an open system, nullifying attempts at market dominance by Amazon and Apple. Flickr photo.

Is Google Editions the iPad killer? The Kindle slayer? Google Editions is a browser-based e-book platform that may have Apple and Amazon looking for no fax pay day loans. The Google Editions launch date of late June or July was announced earlier this week. Unlike Apple and Amazon, Google Editions is a digital publishing service offering books that customers can read on any device and buy from whomever wants to sell them. But publishers may be the most excited about Google Editions e-books. Also unlike the Apple and Amazon business models, Google Editions will let the publishers name their own prices.

Google Editions ebooks

The Google Editions debut was announced at Random House’s New York offices by Chris Palma, Google’s strategic partner development manager. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google Edition users will be able to read Google Editions e-books they discover through Google’s book-search. Google Editions will also allow book retailers — including local independent shops — sell Google Editions on their own sites and let them keep most of the money.

The Google Editions launch date

The Google Editions launch date is emerging as a serious threat to the goals of Amazon and Apple to dominate e-publishing. Currently, Amazon promotes more than 500,000 titles for its Kindle device. Apple has tens of thousands and counting for its iPad. Google has already digitized 12 million books, including out-of-print titles, a far greater selection than Amazon or Apple. Consumers can only buy Kindle titles at Amazon or iPad titles at Apple. Google Editions titles will be available everywhere, to be read on any device with a browser.

Google Editions e-pub

In a few months Google Editions e-pub could turn the entire publishing world — online and in real life — upside down. In an article published in the New Yorker in April, Dan Clancy of Google Books said that in trying to dominate the market, Amazon and Apple were taking the wrong approach to business online. “It’s much more of an open ecosystem, where you find a way for bricks-and-mortar stores to participate in the future digital world of books,” he said. “We’re quite comfortable having a diverse range of physical retailers, whereas most of the other players would like to have a less competitive space, because they’d like to dominate.”

Amazon reality check

One of the biggest pros about Google Editions is that it lets publishers set the price of their books, and gives local bookstores a chance to compete with behemoths like Amazon, Apple and Barnes and Noble. Amazon’s book pricing policy is causing ill-will in the publishing world. Amazon, trying to gain market dominance is losing money by insisting on selling e-books for a flat $9.99. The New Yorker reports that with 80-90 percent market share, Amazon thinks it can later bend publishers to its will.

Google Editions iPad killer?

Is Google Editions the iPad killer? With the Google Editions launch date approaching, the Wall Street Journal reports that publishers haven’t officially agreed to participate, but most industry insiders think its an offer they can’t refuse. Publishers need more outlets to sell books. Even the smallest corner bookstore can make money on millions of titles. And you don’t need to buy a Kindle or an iPad to read them. So why should you?

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