Google Editions, Excuse Me, Google Ebooks is Finally Here!
We expected it as announced for the summer of 2010. We also expected it to be called Google Editions. Neither of those turned out to be accurate prophesies for the highly anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony when the world's largest search engine would open its ebook store for business, but I guess nothing like keeping your word really matters when you're sitting on a gazillion dollars and have a strangle-hold on the most cherished aspect of the internet.
So, fast forward from summer to the near winter of 2010 and Google Ebooks is actually here and functioning (sort of, see below). It's good to see they abandoned the original concept of Google Editions, a term that likely would have left a few scratching heads, and went with the impossible-to-misinterpret-but rather-boring-storefront-name of Google Ebooks.
A few interesting things to note:
- Google doesn't have a dedicated reader, like Amazon's Kindle for example.
- Google makes ebook files readable on any electronic reading device, except Amazon's Kindle.
- Google is openly against DRM (digital rights management, an encryption code) for the intention of allowing one download to be read on several devices throughout the day. DRM was made famous and still used by, you guessed it, Amazon's Kindle.
See a theme here? Fortunately for Amazon, it has a loyal customer base, a fine-working and inexpensive product plus a plethora of other ways to make money just in case the combination punch of Apple's iPad and Google Ebooks eats up too much market share.
One thing that bugs me an as independent author is that Google Ebooks is not anywhere near as user-friendly a place to publish as is Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. At those other retailers I can simply fill out the info for my ebook, upload a jpeg cover file, upload a pdf or MS Word doc, review my uploads and presto, it's done and ready for sales.Continued on the next page