The Wall Street Journal, Chris Palma, Google's manager for strategic partner development, announced the timetable for the launch of the company's e-book store during an event at Random House's Manhattan offices earlier today. Google Editions, as the new store will be called, will launch in late June or July.Google is getting ready to launch its own e-book store and challenge Apple and Amazon. According to
Google will allow book retailers to sell Google Editions on their own sites and, according to The Wall Street Journal's report, "keep the bulk of the revenue." Google, of course, also plans to highlight these e-books on its own book search engine. It's important to note that Google is also still trying to win the right to distribute out-of-print books, but the Google Books settlement that would give Google the rights to do so is still caught up in various legal challenges.
When we first heard about Google Editions last year, Google's plan was to offer around half a million books at launch. At the time, Google also noted that it wanted its books to be compatible with any device, whether that's a laptop, phone or dedicated e-reader. Apple's tablet wasn't on the horizon back then, but chances are that Google will also want its books to be compatible with this new platform. Given that Google is already using the ePub standard, we can only hope that Google's plan is to sell DRM-free ePub books.