Google is launching a new online service for booksellers next year which will allow readers to buy books in electronic format, to read on phones, PCs and e-book devices. The new Google Editions service will put it in competition with Amazon’s Kindle reader. 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.
Google will collect 55 percent of the profits, Turvey said, giving a “vast majority” of that to retailers, and the rest will go to the publisher.
“Google Editions allows retail partners to sell their books, especially those who haven’t invested in a digital platform,” he said. “We expect the majority (of customers) will go to retail partners not to Google. We are a wholesaler, a book distributor.”