As we reported last week, Google is launching its own e-book store. Previously known as “Editions” Google eBookstore launches today. Google claims it has the largest book library of any seller, with more than 3 million titles available, most of which are free. Several hundred thousand titles, including many current bestsellers, are for sale for about $10 – $15.
Like Amazon’s Kindle e-book store’s Whispersync, Google eBooks are stored on the cloud and already available on a number of devices. Downloadable apps have launched for Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) devices. Google eBooks are also readable on the Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony Reader via Adobe’s eBook platform.
In a blog post, Google said its goal is to make an open eBook store. Users can buy books from Google or through many independent book stores that are members of the American Booksellers Association. The goal being that you can continue to support local book shops while still having the convenience of Google’s cloud-based book service. Hopefully, in time, more independent stores will sign on. The search company also gave some stats about its Google Books book-scanning project, which began in 2004. The goal is to digitize all of the world’s books and Google believes it’s about 10 percent finished. It has digitized more than 15 million books from more than 35,000 publishers, 40+ libraries, and more than 100 countries in more than 400 languages.
We have tried out the Android Google eBook Reader app and it’s still a bit unstable. On page one of our first book (Pride and Prejudice) the app crashed. However, in subsequent viewings, it worked reasonably well. Books are viewed in standard text, but you can choose to view their original scanned pages as well, should you wish.
What do you think about Google’s eBookstore? Does it stack up against the Kindle or Nook stores? E-book aficionados please weigh in.