Google plans to launch Google Editions, a service which will allow customers to purchase an eBook from a variety of sources while keeping that eBook in a "cloud library" from which the purchaser could access it from any device at any time.
That's the word from Google, which on Wednesday discussed the upcoming Google Editions service at the Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt, Germany.
The online Web site, TheBookseller.com, a Web provider of news and comments on the book business, reported on Wednesday that Amanda Edmonds, Google's director of strategic partnerships, said that, with its Google Editions program, consumers will be able to buy an eBook via Google Books from retail partners, or directly from a publisher, with Google keeping about one-third the price for itself.
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Books purchased under the Google Editions program would then be placed into what Edmonds called a "cloud library" from which they could then be read by the purchaser from any device, from laptops to eReaders, TheBookseller.com reported.
Google Editions is expected to be launched in the first half of 2010, and Google intends to partner on the program with unnamed device manufacturers, according to TheBookseller.com, which also said that Edmonds doubts the Amazon Kindle would be included.
Meanwhile, the UK Press Association reported that Google plans to start the service with between 400,000 and 600,000 titles.
The move by Google into the eBook market comes at a time when its largest rival in the online book-selling space, Amazon, has released its Amazon Kindle eReader, which is already accounting for a large portion of Amazon.com's book sales.
Meanwhile, one of the country's largest brick-and-mortar booksellers, Barnes & Noble, is preparing for the imminent release of its own eReader.