Google Editions Bookstore Slated for a Mid-Summer Launch

Will be available to any device

Google has always had big plans for books, though, it’s been tough setting them in motion so far. The latest move may prove easier, Google is planning to launch a digital book store this summer that will enable users to buy and access a variety of books from its publishing partners.

There’s no shortage of e-book stores and, with Apple’s iPad coming into the fight, it’s becoming a crowded market. But, whereas everyone else is focusing on the devices and integration, Amazon has the Kindle, Barnes and Noble has the NOOK, Google is taking a much more open approach, its trademark, and making the store and books available to any device with a web browser.

Google’s Manager for Strategic Partner Development, Chris Palma, revealed some new details on Google Editions, the name of the upcoming e-book store, as the Wall Street Journal reports. We’ve been hearing about Google Editions for months now, but the company is ready to set a date for the launch and has fleshed out most of the details.

Google Editions is now set for a late June or July launch, later than its initial plans, which would have it available in the first half of 2010. It could feature 500,000 titles at launch from its many existing publishing partners. Google already has deals in place for Google Books, which enables users to search through the contents of the millions of books the service has in its library.

The e-books will be accessible through any web browser and should be available for download DRM-free. Google uses the ePub open e-book standard. This would make the books readable on a huge number of devices and enable users to switch from one device to another without losing access to the books they bought.

Google may release specialized apps for devices, for example an iPad app, but there are no concrete plans right now. This effort is unrelated to Google’s long-time struggle to get its settlement with book publishers approved. A ruling in that case is expected to come soon.

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