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Google Editions Should be a Game-Changer

Google2I spent last week in Frankfurt at the book fair and our inaugural Tools of Change (TOC) conference there.  TOC was terrific, but one session in particular grabbed my attention.  Amanda Edmonds, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Google gave a presentation on the much-anticipated Google Editions program.

Google Editions is ebooks, done right.  When it launches you'll be able to buy ebooks in (almost) every format for (almost) every device.  Why "almost"?  According to Amanda, the Kindle will be excluded.

So how can a new service be successful when it ignores the market leading device?  It sounds crazy but my money is on Google.  Customers don't want to be locked into a single format or device.  And while Amazon offers an app so you can read Kindle books on your iPhone, Google Editions will enable much broader access, not just for Kindle and iPhone.

Google Editions will be wildly successful...if it ever materializes.  The service has been rumored for a couple of years now and availability always seems to be "a few months away."  I hope the actual launch happens soon, and I can't wait to see how Amazon responds to it.


Toke Riis Ebbesen

I agree that for bookminded consumers this may be their wettest dream. For publishers the 55% seems like a very steep entry price (but its still cheaper than Amazon). Also, publishers will be naturally cautious with Google. I was also attending the presentation at TOC and there was a lot of skepticism in that room regarding Googles intentions, in the light of the settlement they are still struggling with.

Vivek Shenoy

Hi Joe,

The launch of Google Editions, is a sign of things to come for the industry. Publishers have gone in a big way to address the digital market, and Google's venture into the space is bound to bring to a halt any headway companies may have made.

I wrote a post around Editions and the implications of it across the industry:

The product portfolio of Google suggests that they will compete directly with Amazon - and their cross format positioning will definitely give them an edge.

But, (continuing from the comment above) there is skepticism. After all, Dont be Evil sounds like denial to me.

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