Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's happening at Google Ebooks?

After a wait so long, people almost stopped caring, Google finally launched its ebook store. The internet titan that famously desires to catalogue all text in the universe has entered the ebook market in a big way. Media blather claims that Google Ebooks will seriously challenge Amazon and Apple for ebook marketshare.

Although I expect Google will have a learning curve as it attempts to become a powerhouse in the consumer retail market, Google appears to have developed a platform that could appeal to a broad segment of the reading public. Even people who don't have dedicated ebook readers can easily use ebooks bought at Google. People who read ebooks without a dedicated device use their smart phones, iPads, or personal computers. Google also caters to people with dedicated reading devices, like the Nook, Sony devices, and many lesser known gadgets. The only notable exception is the Kindle.

Google ebooks are available in the cloud. Readers won't have to bother with downloading. Their free or purchased content will always be available in their Google ebooks account and can be accessed through almost any internet-connected device. Some content can be downloaded if the publisher has decided to allow it. For example, I set up my fantasy novels to be downloadable because I know that some people want to be able to store away purchased content on their own systems.

I have no idea if the Google ebooks store is going to be a success. Its flexibility across reading platforms without tying readers to a certain device or format that could become obsolete has great appeal. However, some people will likely be put off by the fact that not all content is downloadable, which means Google must be relied on in perpetuity to store purchased content. But many people won't care about that. They will just like the convenience of accessing their ebooks when they want and how they want.

Time will tell if Google Ebooks matures into a big gun in the ebook marketplace. I'm a part of it of course. I'm willing to try any viable market. I've already had two sales through Google ebooks. Someone bought Judgment Rising and The Borderlands of Power, which are the third and fourth books of The Rys Chronicles respectively. Apparently someone out there was halfway through my series and decided to get the rest from the Google ebook cloud. I hope that person is enjoying them.

Here are the links to my fantasy novels at Google Ebooks:

Union of Renegades
The Goddess Queen
Judgment Rising
The Borderlands of Power