Last week, we reported on Google Editions, as Google’s e-book offering was previously known, being about to go live this month.
In actual fact, the store – which is called Google eBooks – flings open its virtual doors today over in the US.
The Google eBookstore is set to rival the likes of Kindle and iBooks, with over three million tomes available within, hundreds of thousands of which are for sale, but many are freebies.
Old classics such as Great Expectations and Gulliver’s Travels will sit alongside the latest best-sellers, such as James Patterson’s Cross Fire and Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom.
The big plan for Google eBooks is to keep it as open a platform as possible, with a full-featured web reader that can be employed across any device, be it smartphone, tablet, netbook or computer (although there will also be dedicated apps for the likes of Android and iOS). Books purchased will be stored in the cloud, so they’ll be accessible from anywhere.
Abraham Murray, Product Manager, Google Books, wrote: “For many books you can select which font, font size, day/night reading mode and line spacing suits you – and pick up on the page where you left off when switching devices.”
He added: “Launching Google eBooks is an initial step toward giving you greater access to the vast variety of information and entertainment found in books. Our journey has just begun. We welcome your feedback as we read on to the next chapter.”
Google hopes to push the e-book store hard on the net, and plans to share revenue with the likes of independent book stores who can’t afford to set up their own full e-book stores. They can push Google eBooks on their sites, and get a cut of any sales.
As to when the service will be available over here, it should be early next year.