Google's ebooks launched

The Google eBookstore has been officially launched in the US, and is set to be rolled out to Europe in March 2011.

Google's ebook store combines online search and purchasing with 'brick-and-mortar' bookstores. 

Nancy Herther reviews the eBookstore and discusses its potential impact in Information Today's Newsbreaks. The key points of her article are:

  • Google eBookstore aims to reach potential customers at the point of web search rather than at the point of searching an online bookstore. People searching for help may well find that a book can answer their needs - something they may not have originally searched for or expected
  • The service will enable more targeted advertising
  • Libraries will find themselves competing with a service that enables users to search, preview or read books online at their own convenience
  • The service offers connectivity via a range of ebook devices - from iPad to iPhone (but not to Amazon's Kindle as yet)
  • Prices are comparable with other services, but price competition may happen as the market for ebooks increases
  • Accessibility features (for the visually impaired for example) are in development
  • Users can purchase a book directly or through an independent bookseller
  • According to Goldman Sachs Amazon's share of the ebook market will fall
  • Google needs to increase the number of strategic alliances with publishers
  • This launch means that Google is helping to bring ebooks into the mainstream

The rollout into Europe is scheduled for Spring 2011.

Read Nancy's full article here