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?