On Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, Google finally launched the Google Ebookstore. Long-awaited, it’s a viable outlet for ebooks of all kinds. Google Books. It offers ebooks for Androids, iPhone, iPad, Nook, Sony and the Web. All in one place. Doesn’t that sound right? I found one of my books there…
Google ebooks has millions of books in every imaginable category including nearly 3 million free ebooks available in the US (Google is expected to expand service to Europe in March 2011 and, later next year, to Japan). Books are stored in the cloud with unlimited storage for each customer. They’re compatible with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, web browsers (as pdfs even) and an estimated 85 ebook devices. You can view a portion, buy it right away, or save it for later viewing. Interesting, but Google ebooks are not compatible with Amazon Kindle yet. I wonder why.
Information Today gives this summary of ebook sales in the future:
In April 2010, Goldman Sachs estimated that ebooks will represent 12.8% of all book sales by 2015. More realistic figures from Forrester find an even brighter future. “7% of US online adults read ebooks today—many of them without ereaders,” explains McQuivey. “[T]his small, energetic group will grow so rapidly that it will easily spend nearly $3 billion on ebooks in 2015.” Even this figure may be underrating the potential growth for this industry that now has established standards (EPUB), a strong and growing core market, significant financially-strong core companies, and a product that is a clear fit with technological advancements—information and reading anytime, anywhere, on the device of your choosing for a price less than their print alternatives.
Authors can sell their books through Google Ebookstore by joining Google Partners (used to be Google Editions). I’m thrilled to say I’ve sold one book.
On the other hand, I’m surprised. Google should do to ebooks what Amazon did to online book sales. I’m well-expecting them to double or triple (or more) my Scribd ebook sales. Scribd’s reputation is for free viewing of online books and manuscripts. Their store is an add-on. Google ebookstore is the Real Deal.
The next step I noted last year–when they sell the hard copy and the ebook bundled–has not yet arrived. I wonder when that’s coming on line?
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller Any suggestions? Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.