Google enters the e-book arena

Google is preparing the shake-up the online book world, having announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair that it plans to infiltrate online book stores in the first half of 2010.

The new service will be known as Google Editions and aims to provide a large range of e-books to anybody that has access to a web browser.

To bring this venture to life, Google has partnered with a number of publishers to offer an initial range of around half a million books that can be purchased directly through Google or from a number of online bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Any profits made from Google Editions sales will be split between Google and the partnering publishers and online bookstores. Reports indicate that buying a book directly through Google will net the company 37% of the sale, with the publisher receiving the remaining 63%. If you buy a book through an online bookstore partner, Google will pocket next to nothing, with the publisher taking 45% of the sale and the retailer taking above 50%.

This seems a rather generous move from the online giant, and indicates that it has learned some valuable lessons on how to treat publishers from the Congressional hearings into its Google Books projects.

Google has indicated that it will make its e-books compatible with most devices, including PCs, iPhones, smartphones and netbooks. It is not planning to release a dedicated e-book reading device for the service at this time.

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