Google, Inc. will be opening an online eBook store set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and internationally in the first quarter of next year. Independent booksellers around the U.S. are expected to play a fairly large roll in Google’s eBook network. Users will be able to buy books directly from Google or from multiple online retailers, including independent bookstores, and add them to an online library tied to a Google account. They will be able to access their Google accounts on most devices with a Web browser, including personal computers, smartphones and tablets. The Google model heavily contrasts that of digital reading devices like the Amazon Kindle; the Kindle requires you to purchase books from Amazon’s store in the Kindle format.
Google Editions would also have a revenue-sharing model for third parties. Websites and blogs that talk about a particular book could link its readers to Google Editions to purchase the title and share in Google’s cut of the sale. Proponents of the service say it will provide authors an opportunity to sell their work anytime it is discussed on the internet. Google’s passion for books is not new news by any means. The company has publicly stated its desire to scan all the world’s books (~150 million) into digital format and make the contents of the digital library available to its search engine users.