Google Readies E-Book Store Opening

Discussion
Dec 02, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Google doesn’t have its own e-reading device and that might
be one of the strengths of its planned Google Editions e-book store.

"Google is going to turn every internet space that talks about a book
into a place where you can buy that book," Dominique Raccah, publisher
and owner of Sourcebooks Inc., told The Wall Street Journal. "The
Google model is going to drive a lot of sales. We think they could get 20 percent
of the e-book market very fast."

Consumers will be able to buy books directly
from Google or independent retailers and add them to an online library that
they can access through any device connected to the internet. All they need
beyond that is a Google account. Millions of books will be available for free.

Some small book retailers see Google as a means to get in
on the e-reading business.

"If I don’t change with what is going on, I am going to be behind," Liz
Murphy, owner of the Learned Owl Book Shop in Hudson, Ohio, told the Journal. "People
are getting e-books but they aren’t getting them from me."

Discussion Question: What will Google Editions mean for the e-book retailing
business?

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9 Comments on "Google Readies E-Book Store Opening"


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Mark Johnson
Guest
Mark Johnson
10 years 5 months ago

The article in the Wall Street Journal this morning was quite confusing. I think the issue is that without a device (that is how they are launching) it is going to be tough to sell. I have a Nook, Nook Color and several iPads (with the Nook reader) so the need for me to go to Google would not exist.

Nook has a great reader and of course the Kindle has a very loyalty following. Google (with the acquisition of Groupon) seems to be trying to split in many ways. Yet without the device, Editions may not be that successful. There is NO value proposition for me to switch.

Fabien Tiburce
Guest
Fabien Tiburce
10 years 5 months ago

There is an underlying story here. Books tell a lot about who we are. They tell a lot about our interests, our motivations, where we are in life and where we want to be. I can’t help thinking this initiative is not just financially motivated. It will help Google know more about us so it can further tune the relevance of its algorithms whether it’s serving web search results, clothing suggestions in Google’s new fashion e-tail site or coupons (groupon?)….

Ryan Mathews
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Even though we are still at the dawn of the eBook revolution, there are far too many competitors out there. There needs to be some rationalization among devices and content providers and who knows more about content than Google?

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
10 years 5 months ago

To me, e-books on Google are like paperbacks at the front of the grocery store. This is a sign of e-books going mainstream, as now casual readers who might not bother checking out a book retailer website will be able to make impulse buys while they visit Google for other reasons. I would expect mainstream fiction authors like Stephen King and popular self-help and cookbooks to do well in the Google e-book store, as opposed to serious literary fiction, academic research, etc.

Max Goldberg
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Google e-books could be a boon to independent booksellers, allowing them to offer a wider selection of books without significant cash outlay to take inventory. By being device agnostic, Google is not wedded to Kindle or the iPad, which is a plus for consumers. When combined with Google’s effort to include millions of free titles, this should further spur purchase of e-readers.

W. Frank Dell II
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Google needs new revenue streams. It is as simple as that. Content providers and technology companies have seen what Apple did with iPod and the iTunes online store. They restructured the music industry, while making millions and now they are planning the same for publishing with the iPad. Rather than let Amazon with its Kindle and Apple with its iPad make all the money by replacing book stores, Google is getting into the game. To date, no one has a lock on the content. The end result will be real market competition.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Will Google offer terms to publishers making it worthwhile to offer books through Google? Will current sites that offer books already be willing to strike a deal to sell through Google? Will Google offer something that consumers find valuable that is different from their current provider? Will Google offer something different that publishers of textbooks will find attractive? Google may well create a format that answers these and other questions. Google definitely has content and connects with many consumers. There are still a few issues to be addressed.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
10 years 5 months ago

Google is going to get a fair share of the e-book market when it enters the arena. But I can not see how they will get the 20% mentioned in the article without having a dedicated reader as the competition has. The dedicated reader eases the need for the laptop especially during a trip. I can see Google having a winner with this; and it will make the competition look for means to combat them.

The next step is to sit back and watch the prices drop like everything else as new generations are developed.

Tracey Croughwell
Guest
Tracey Croughwell
10 years 5 months ago

I don’t think Google necessarily needs a device to make this successful. You can already download Google’s e-books on the Nook and other e-readers. Google already lures readers in with the free e-books in the public domain, and they may be able to offer readers more competitive pricing than Barnes & Noble. One of the biggest complaints about e-readers is the high prices of e-books. More importantly, however, Google can be where other e-book retailers cannot. The ability to sell e-books where the die-hard readers are online is huge–book club websites, literature fanatic sites, etc. They, of course, can also introduce new business models; publishers could earn money from advertising in the book or online, and publishers could potentially have more ways of connecting with readers (through their Google accounts). I think it’s a great move by Google, and overall the increased competition will be beneficial to consumers.

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