Google has announced the launch of its e-books service called “Google eBooks.” The Wall Street Journal reports Google has been trying to break into the eBook market for months and has finally unveiled its website. Included in the offerings are hundreds of thousands of downloads for a service fee, as well as millions of free titles. Pricing is competitive with other e-book vendors, with new releases selling for around $10. Users will also have access to many of the titles which have been downloaded to Google from the public domain to read on their devices.
Summary of Google eBooks
Google eBooks is much like any other e-book service with a few key differences. You simply go to the Google website and choose what book you want to read. There are editions available for the iPod, iPad, Android devices, the Nook and Sony e-book readers.
The difference with Google’s service is twofold. First, the e-books are stored on Google’s web servers through your account instead of on your e-book reader, so there is no added space taken up on your reader’s memory. Basically what happens is you read your book on the Internet and it looks just like any other title stored on your reader. Second, the e-book service works on multiple platforms and not just one device.
It was only a matter of time before Google became an innovator in the e-book market, and their announcement in the midst of a feverish holiday shopping season should be no coincidence. What’s the best about this system is Google has made its publishing platform available to multiple services.
Free books are always good, and Google’s project to download public domain titles will be advantageous to college students reading literature in classes who don’t want to pay for titles. The more titles available, the more appropriate and useful the service becomes.
The one major downside is what happens if you lose your connection to the Internet. You can even read e-books on your computer if you wish. But if you have no Internet connection or your wireless service doesn’t reach where you are, then you may have difficulty getting to the next page.
However, the Internet search giant is betting a vast majority of e-book users will be in urban areas or in coffee shops, as opposed to reading in a remote cabin in the woods or traveling through a tunnel for hours on end.
Google entering into the e-book market can only be a good thing for e-book lovers. With their vast array of titles and ability to use several different platforms, these factors should only strengthen the competition for a larger share of the e-book market.
E-book readers and titles have already revolutionized the way Americans read books and potentially save trees by not printing as many books in paper. Google’s step forward will only help the process.
Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. and Amir Efrati, “Google Opens Online Bookstore,”Wall Street Journal.