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Google eBooks is now available on the web at http://books.google.com/ebooks

Press Review:

Official Blog Post and Video

We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks—everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa—using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.

In addition to a full-featured web reader, free apps for Android and Apple devices will make it possible to shop and read on the go. 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.

“Known Issues With Google eBooks” (via Google)
Hat Tip and Thanks: (via Lydia Dishman, Style.com)

“Google eBooks Open for Business” by Quentin Hardy

Of the 3 million volumes at launch, a number “in the high two millions” are in the public domain, said James Crawford, Director of Engineering at Google books. Those are likely to be free, or relatively cheap, volumes. They could be read online in their entirety before this, while only 10% of a copyrighted book was accessable. Several hundred thousand titles under copyright are in Google eBooks, and for sale. Google has some 4000 publishing partners in the project, including trade, educational, science, medical, and university publishers.

“Google Opens Online Bookstore” (via WSJ)

Pricing is similar to other major e-books vendors, with new releases from publishers operating under the so-called “agency pricing model,” in which publishers set the consumer prices, generally priced under $20. Google eBooks will set its own prices for books sold by publishers under the traditional wholesale model.

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Mr. [Tom] Turvey [a director of strategic partnerships at Google] said that he expects many members of the American Booksellers Association to eventually use Google eBooks to sell digital titles to their customers, as well as other retailers not affiliated with the ABA. In addition, he said that bloggers and others who wish to direct their visitors to Google’s digital titles could earn a commission through an affiliate program. He declined to say how much affiliate sellers will receive, except to say that the rates will “be competitive.”

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Google eBooks will become available outside the U.S. starting in the first quarter of 2011.

+ Google eBooks has launched with 110 independent bookstores participating, here’s a list (via IndieBooks)
Hat Tip and Thanks: @Sarahw @Shelfawareness

“Going Head-To-Head With Amazon, Google Launches eBooks” (by Chris Sherman, Search Engine Land)

+ Via a ShelfAwareness Tweet:
Google eBooks Will Not Work with the Kindle, Apps are Not Ready Yet; Files Currently Available in PDF or ePub.

“Google opens e-book store in challenge to Amazon” (via AP)

To allay concerns that it will exploit the dominance of its Internet search engine to spur e-book sales on its own site, Google plans to include links to several other places where people can buy a book mentioned in a search request.

“Google Launches Google eBooks, Formerly Google Editions” (by Andrew Albanese, PW)

So what took so long? Getting it right, [Tom] Turvey [a director of strategic partnerships at Google] said, a complex task given the program’s many moving parts. “When you build an open platform that includes a numerous third parties, and you’re making it accessible on a number of different platforms, it is much more complicated than just building and launching a single closed system,” he explained. As for changing the named from Google Editions, Turvey said that was always the plan, and that Google Editions was just a placeholder as the company sketched out the contours of the program with its partners. With the term “e-book” making significant strides in recent years with consumers, re-branding the program Google eBooks was a natural choice.

To allay concerns that it will exploit the dominance of its Internet search engine to spur e-book sales on its own site, Google plans to include links to several other places where people can buy a book mentioned in a search request.

Emily William’s Twitter Stream (Emily is an independent publishing consultant and a writer for Digital Books Weekly

“Google launches ebook store with world’s largest library of titles” (via VentureBeat)

“Google eBooks platform goes live in the US” (via The Bookseller)

Google said almost 4,000 publishers have signed up to the service but said pricing depended on individual publisher agreement. The digital company refused to discuss revenue share but said in the standard agreement, the majority of revenue from sale of an e-book will go to the publisher.

“Adobe announces adoption of ebook DRM by Google” (via TeleRead)

Official Announcement from American Booksellers Association

Via Resource Shelf

 
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