Google launched its new e-book store Monday Dec. 6, 2010, according to Zdnet. The new site is called Google eBooks, and is expected to quickly become the largest source of e-books on the Internet. Google has the potential to make e-books more mainstream and reach a much larger audience. Though it has only be launched in the US, it is expected to launch worldwide in early 2011. The entry of Google into the e-book marketplace has to be a cause of great concern from competitors such a Amazon, who have dominated the industry until now.
Due to its size, Google will be able to provide competitive prices on their e-books. With the size of their electronic inventory, they will definitely pose a huge threat to companies like Amazon who have an inclusive system. The fact that Google’s e-books will be compatible with Adobe digital editions gives them a significant advantage over their competitors.
Some of their competitors will even benefit from their success, as their systems incorporate other e-book sellers as well. A consumer will be able to buy an e-book that is sold by one of Google’s competitors while using their book search. This is definitely welcome to smaller e-book companies who will get free leads from Google.
For many, Google’s entry into the e-book market is a much-welcome Christmas gift, as the publishing industry has been dominated by Amazon in recent years. According to NPR.org, Google’s entry is going to grant access to independent publishers and others who have been locked out of the market.
The biggest advantage Google eBooks will have over other e-book publishers is accessibility. Google e-books can be read with the Nook (Barnes and Noble’s e-book device), Sony e-book device and Apple’s Ipad. The only major e-book device they are not compatible with is, to no surprise, Amazon’s Kindle.
The most noticeable flaw to Google eBook is the lack of apps to go with their e-books. While Google claims they intentionally did not install apps because they don’t want to take away the reading experience, it is a little bit of a downer for those who have been spoilt by devices like the iPad, which has numerous apps available. Many e-book users are already used to being able to find the definition of a word by simply touching the screen and performing social networking tasks on their devices. Consumers like these might opt to stick with their current devices. However, with the low prices Google will be selling their e-books for, many should be able to overlook this minor flaw.