Pub Rants

Oh, That Google Thing

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STATUS: I’m blogging before 5 p.m. I’ll call this a great day! I demonstrated restraint as I did not have an eggnog chai today….

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? SHEPHERD’S PIPE CAROL by Bryn Terfel

Actually, just one of the many Google things as of late but this one is definitely worth a blog post. Long awaited and much expected, Google announced the launch for Google eBooks (formerly Google Editions).

An eBookstore to rival Amazon and Apple. According to the press release, it is the largest eBook provider offering up to 3 million books for sale and download (many of which are in the public domain). Click here for the article.

According to the president of ABA, this latest game changer can benefit Indie booksellers the most. They now have access to a store platform that will allow them to sell eBooks from their stores (about time!). It’s also the first eBookstore that’s not directly connected to a specific eBook reader. And, according to the release, publishers can sell traditionally or through agency model (see sidebar tag for electronic books for more discussion on that issue.)

Now if we can just get everyone to agree on a specific eBook format… Hey, I can dream, can’t I?


11 Responses

  1. Eric said:

    I’m pretty sure it will be a long while before you see only one e-book format. Hardware is always going to respond best to specific software written exclusively for that hardware. That, in turn, will dictate how well specific file formats will work. So, to get the best results on a Kindle, you’ll need the Kindle file format, etc.

    I don’t think it’s a big deal as long as the readers have open formats that any publisher can produce. It might be more work for the publisher though since getting the format right isn’t a trivial thing.

  2. J. T. Shea said:

    Yes, but where does Chutney come into this? At first, I thought you were listening to SHEPHERD’S PIE CAROL, which Chutney would probably like too!

    ‘It’s also the first eBookstore that’s not directly connected to a specific eBook reader.’ Music to my ears, and the ears of anybody with a splink of common sense!

    Restricted proprietary e-readers will be remembered (or forgotten!) as one of the great red herrings of publishing history. Restricted proprietary e-formats likewise. You’re far from alone in your dream, Kristin.

    Monopolists have tried to control the means of production for centuries, but trying to control the means of consumption is an even greater insanity, oddly popular with present day internet moguls.

    Meanwhile, I’ve just come up with a great ebook format, which can be used on just about any computer or device. You can change font and page type and size and so on. I call it Rich Text File, or RTF for short. Oh, wait…

  3. Tara Maya said:

    Count me as one more waiting for a standard ebook format. I will even be greedy, and add that I’d like to see something that looks good. The Kindle formatting… not so great. The Nook is nicer, as far as formatting goes, and of course, it helps to have color. Though it’s not eInk, so you’re back to reading from a screen.

  4. Stephanie M. Lorée said:

    The ebook format will likely be determined by consumers. That which is purchased, shall be created. For myself, I have promised only to buy ePub, as I despise proprietary formats. It does mean that a Kindle is never in my future.

    In the long run, whatever format sells the most will be the one that lives on. Just like mp3 has become the generic format for music (even if Windows and iTunes would prefer it differently).

  5. Joseph L. Selby said:

    There were mp3s and then iTunes came out and AAC was everywhere. Then we got tired of the DRM and Amazon introduced its mp3 store, breaking that monopoly. This time the role of Apple is Amazon itself, with its proprietary file format. epub is considered the standard even though it isn’t the primary distribution format at the moment. If the Google Bookstore is as successful as the Amazon mp3 store, epub will become the dominant file format in the future.

    What I’m really looking forward to is the freeware that lets me convert my nook books to epub files that I can keep on my own hard drive.

    (I am wary of the Google Bookstore, both because of previous copyright issues and because of the public domain titles I have downloaded from them in the past that were poorly formed.)

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried said:

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Smashwords to you yet, Kristin. They aren’t linked to a specific e-reader. In fact, they enable authors to make their books available in ALL the different formats. They’ve also worked deals to get their books into Sony, Kobo, Diesel, B&N, Amazon, and more to come, I’m sure. I’m hoping for a deal with them and Google books, in fact.

  7. Alyssa Palmer said:

    I don’t mind single format as long as things are DRM-free so I can convert as needed to other formats. However at this point I suspect that most (if not all) licensing agreements from eBookstores contain language disallowing me that ability.

  8. Aaron DeMott said:

    Well, Google Books stores things in ePub, the open format that’s used by Sony, Barnes and Noble, and most sites that offer public domain books.

    And Google IS tied to a specific reader, kinda. You have to read your books in the Google reader app. Sure, you can download your books in ePub format, but only if the publisher has decided to specifiably enable that feature.