Google E-books Review & Google Editions Marketplace Review - Quality products but should you Trust them?
Google E-books & Google Editions Marketplace are interesting additions to the e-book market, but the company's business history raises doubts about whether consumers can trust Google as a retail book provider.
Sources close to the company have reported that Google has recently surmounted the major obstacles that have been preventing the launch of Google Editions, the Google e-books retail venture. The project, which was supposed to debut this summer, is now expected to be ready for its U.S. debut by the end of the year, and Google e-books will be ready to sell to the rest of the world by the first quarter of 2011. Do we think this is a winning idea? Read more to find out.
We review Google E-books and review Google Editions, Google's e-book marketplace. Should you trust Google as a retail book provider?
Much like the Amazon e-books (which have about 65% of the market), Google e-books will be available through Google Editions in a "read anywhere" format, meaning that users will be able to access their e-books from nearly any device with an internet connection, including a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Google e-books will be stored online and linked to a customer's Google account.
Unlike with Amazon, which requires its customers to purchase e-books only through the company's own store, Google Editions users also will not necessarily have to buy e-books directly from Google, but instead will have the option of purchasing Google e-books from independent booksellers who have partnered with Google. So Google is going to be "partnering" with local booksellers who are already having a hard time surviving, giving them, what, a commission (% still unannounced) for selling Google e-books? I'm not sure this sounds like a winning model.
According to Domique Raccah, the owner of Sourcebooks Inc., an Illinois-based independent publishing company, Google e-books are expected to greatly impact the e-book market, possibly grabbing up to 20% of sales very quickly. 20% of the e-book market would be very substantial; e-book sales are expected to rise from $301 million last year to $966 million this year. James Crawford, an engineering director at Google, stated that Google will be offering the majority of e-books available in other companies' e-book stores "at launch or shortly after" for competitive prices.
Those interested in Google e-books should proceed with caution. I'd personally be nervous to invest my hard earned dollars in the Google e-books service knowing the Google shuttered their much hyped video store a few years ago, and cut off access to users' already purchased videos, leaving them with a useless credit to Google checkout, not even a standard refund. I'll stick with my Amazon e-books for now, which unlike Google e-books, is sold by a company that knows how to sell books and understands the term customer service.