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?.
There is so much else here, but this stat just astounds me!
By the end of this year, 10.3 million people are expected to own e-readers in the United States, buying about 100 million e-books, the market research company Forrester predicts. This is up from 3.7 million e-readers and 30 million e-books sold last year.
via Print or Pixels? Publishers Strive to Advance Both – NYTimes.com.
A really great post by Adam Hodgkin worth ‘reading’!
Our understanding of digital books would be much better if we spent less time wondering about how we might read them, and a lot more time thinking about the ways in which we may use them without necessarily, or even at all, reading them. For certainly, and beyond all doubt, when there are 20 million books in Google Books Search we will not seriously, continuously, read more than the tiniest fraction of them.
In Praise Of Not Reading – Exact Editions Blog
I posted the news part of this over on Irish Publishing News but I thought I add some thoughts about it here, where I’m free to comment.
The News Bit
Apple‘s iBooks program is now available for download for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but only after users update their iPhone & iPod Touch operating systems to the new iOS4.
Irish readers do not yet have access to paid titles in Apple’s iBookstore, the iTunes for books, but they can download free Project Gutenberg ebooks to the iPod or iPhone and can also read the free Winnie The Pooh ebook that comes pre-loaded in Apple’s iBooks.
Read The Rest
The Review Bit
First things first, iBooks on my iPod Touch is terribly slow. Slow to load the bookself, slow to load a book once clicked on and slow to respond to gestures. I’m used to that though, I find pretty much all ereading software on the Touch slow. It’s one of my major issues with ereading.
Once you get over that it has some decent features, the Dictionary, Highlight, Note and Search features for instance are pretty damn good and invoked fairly easily. I like them all and find them useful. I expect much more so with books other than Winne The Pooh.
And it’s there that my biggest problem arises. Right now all I can get is free Project Gutenberg ebooks and the free Winnie The Pooh book provided by Apple. Hopefully when the iPad goes on sale we will actually see some recent or new books for sale. There is no word yet on iPad pricing in Ireland but we can assume that it will be close to the price in France and Germany, €499.
The actual reading experience is not noticeably different to Amazon’s Kindle App, certainly not good enough to make me change unless the selection and price is worth the discomfort. Overall I’d say that iBooks is adequate, no better or worse than pretty much all the other ereading software for the Touch. Maybe that will change once I actually use the iPad itself rather than iBooks on the Touch.
Waiting seems to be the theme of the day!