Nov 29 – Dec 5, 2010 Edition Google Editions Store to Launch Soon

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/December 1, 2010–Google has announced it will launch Google Editions, its anticipated universal format e-book store, by the end of 2010.

Google Editions was announced back in May, with an anticipated launch date of summer 2010. According to Google, the project was pushed back due to technical and legal issues. But those obstacles were “recently cleared,” according to an unnamed source quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal story. Google product management director Scott Dougall told the Journal that Google Editions is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of this year, and will hit international markets in the first quarter of 2011.

Google aims to upset the e-book market now dominated by Amazon. Google will offer e-books in a “universal” format. Books purchased on Google Editions will be readily available to users on all sorts of devices–not just a dedicated e-book reader, such as the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook, or on a tablet OS such as the iPad.

Instead, Google Editions books will be available for users to read on most devices with Internet access, including smartphones, computers, and tablets. The Google Books website says that Editions books also will be available on “supported partner devices” to be announced at Editions official launch time.

Google is also offering to share revenue with other retailers, including independent bookstores. Unlike Amazon, which only allows its Kindle users to purchase books from, Google will sell its books from both its Google Editions store and from online retailers.

Google may indeed be able to give Amazon some stiff competition. A recent survey by Change Wave research indicates that Kindle’s e-book market share has dropped to 47 percent, down from 68 percent in February. Apple, meanwhile, is growing, with 32 percent of the market, the survey shows.