Google has released more information about its upcoming ebook service, called
. Unlike the Amazon store, which is tied to the Kindle, Google ebooks will be usable on any device. Then new service will feature a selection of in-print books provided by Google’s publishing partners. Google Edition should launch in the first half of 2010 and offer 400,000 to 600,000 books.
Google clarified that the service would not be entirely cloud-based. After obtaining a book the customer could have a cached version for use when no not online. This caching may be done via Google Gears.
Google Editions will utilize three business models. The first will allow consumers to purchase directly from Google Books. This model would give Google a 37% share of the sale, with the rest going to the publisher. The second model would consist of purchases made from partner retailers, with Google getting 55% of the sale. The last model Google is looking at will have customers going directly to a publisher’s website to make purchases. No decisions have been made on the split for this option.
No word yet on any device manufacturers Google plans to partner with. Maybe you should hold off on that Kindle purchase.