Mobile phones have destroyed the 'need' for many gadgets. It has conveniently made some gadgets redundant. Digital Cameras, MP3 Players, Video Recorder, Gaming Devices, Browsing device and e-book reader! The E-book culture is taking off big time and with larger and high-quality display screens, reading books on the screen is much more fun!
Google wants to be part of this action. Google has been working on a e-book store for quite some time. The project was supposed to be launched by June 2010 but has been delayed. Now a fresh set of speculations are pointing to christmas launch. Google has been busy talking with 200 major book publishers. Google would be taking a different approach towards the 'e-book' by following 'read anywhere' model under which users who have purchased the book can read the book on any device that has internet connection. These purchased books would be stored electronically in google's servers. This approach is in contrast with Amazon's closed wall approach where users can buy books only from amazon store and can read only on amazon's kindle or kindle-supported devices.
Google is taking this concept one step further by exploring the defacto 'ebook' distribution model. Independant publishers can get their books digitized and retailers and bloggers can embed google bookstore in their site enabling users to purchase an ebook right from within their site. Form of affiliate marketing. A online book store that was selling physical books can now extend its offering to 'digital books' easily! Google wants to become the de-facto distributor for 'e-books'. Just like with android, they are going to lock horns with closed-wall economies such as itune store and amazon store!
Video interview with Amir Efrati of the Wall Street Journal, about what Google's entry means for the online book market.
This is what Google has to say about this project "Google Editions is an upcoming program that will allow consumers to easily purchase and read digital editions of books. Consumers will be able to preview a book, as they do today in Google Books, and will also have the option to purchase its Google Edition. After purchase, the book will live in the consumer's online bookshelf, available to be accessed and read on most devices with internet access and a web browser; as well as on supported partner devices."
For publishers, In order to make their content available for purchase when google begins selling Google Editions in 2010, they will have to agree to set of agreements. The publisher needs to hold the rights for the book, they have to set the base price for the book, they have to set the geographies in which the book can be sold etc.,
For detailed information, check out here