Google Editions

Go Read This | Brave New World: Have We been Googled?

Great piece on what Google Editions IS, and what its implications might very well be.

I have to say that despite its potential (which I’ve blogged about before) I am becoming increasingly skeptical about Google’s ability to pull this one out of the bag.

I think Amazon has nicely out maneuvered them by launching their desktop and mobile device apps creating in effect a device-less strategy for their content. But I’m always happy to be proved wrong.

The other difference offered by Google Editions is its planned appeal to independent bookstores who will see it as their opportunity to go digital. A bit like many Marketplace offers, Google will allow bookstores to be mere agents and sell ebooks off their own clients, community and brand. Some suggest that systems such as the ABA’s Indie Bound are lined up and that the UK’s BA will follow. This will certainly get bookstores involved in ebooks but has to be watched as all other marketplace deals have tended to raise the cost of doing business once they have cashed in on the clients, community and brands. Independents will line up in a beauty contest alongside all comers and although Google will probably offer some localised shopping service everyone is in there together.

Whether they will integrate voucher services such as their rumoured interest in Groupon remain to be seen but as voucher services and social networking grows it will be interesting as to who Google actually ends up accommodating and like Adwords at what price?

via Brave New World: Have We been Googled?.

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 19/10/2009

The Frankfurt Cleared The Air Edition

Richard Eoin Nash’s post on the Frankfurt Book Fair blog is all kinds of excellent:

Not only, it turns out, are the readers of the world looking to buy our content if we can deliver it to them digitally, but the world’s leading hardware companies are looking to help us. Along with Sony, iRex, TXTR, and other dedicated reading device manufacturers exhibiting, presenting, and working the floor, two Apple executives were traversing the halls of the Fair to let publishers know all the opportunities that await them on that platform. (Let it be said: that platform, right now, is the iPhone. Not any other rumored device. Apple has not been in private discussions about a larger device and reports that they have are a hoax. But Apple does believe in the opportunity for the publishing industry’s content, contrary to the occasional snarky comment from Jobs.) Apple is working to improve the Books section of the App store to make it more browsable, and they are trying to help publishers find the right developers to work with.

You should take the time to read all the contributions from Richard and his fellow Book Fair Bloggers, they provide a nice slice of the fair.

Brian O’Leary has put the slides for his trouble causing presentation on piracy up on Slideshare, when you read through, you’ll find it hard to find the controversy and wonder just how tightly poised those knee-jerk reactions are.

The news of Google’s Google Editions, which first came to light back in June has been formed up by more recent news. Like this AP story:

Tom Turvey, head of Google Book Search’s publisher partnership program, said the price per book would be set by their publishers and would start with between 400,000 to 600,000 books in the first half of 2010.
“It will be a browser-based access,” Turvey said Thursday at the 61st Frankfurt Book Fair. “The way the e-book market will evolve is by accessing the book from anywhere, from an access point of view and also from a geographical point of view.”
The books bought from Google, and its partners, would be accessible on any gadget that has a Web browser, including smartphones, netbooks and personal computers and laptops. A book would be accessible offline after the first time it was accessed.

Of course as you would expect it is platform neutral (if web based/cloud based is neutral), omnipresent and smart. Anyone who thinks that devices are the future is living in the past.

There is a whole load of other stuff on the margins, but in terms of signal, I think this is it!
Eoin