Google has announced that it has started selling ebooks in the Play Store in France. Google has been expanding the reach of the ebook store internationally, but has mostly done it in English-speaking countries. More recently, it started targeting Europe, with launches in Germany, Spain and Italy.
But Google was undergoing a lengthy legal battle in France
and opening a bookstore there was out of the question until that was settled. Fortunately for everyone involved, Google was able to come to terms with French publishers and reach an agreement.
It didn't take long after that for Google to open up its store. Google offers several million titles, plenty of them for free, the result of its book-scanning project. Most of those are in English, but there are also several hundreds of thousands of titles in French, Google revealed.
"It's easy to find great French authors such as Antonin Varenne, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Fred Vargas and Dominique Sylvain, plus international bestsellers, in the country’s largest ebookstore. With the launch of ebooks, Google Play becomes a one-stop-shop for the very best digital content available on the web," Philippe Colombet, Google Books France, wrote
"Books on Google Play is all about choice: we’re offering many titles and many ways to access and read them, so that your library is literally at your fingertips no matter where you are," he added.
“You can choose from great titles from hundreds of award-winning and diverse publishing houses at launch, not to mention the thousands of international publishers Google works with around the world," he explained.
Google wants to turn the Play Store into a media powerhouse, but, so far, that's not even true in the US. Books are an important part of the equation and having more of them, in more countries, will make Google tablets and phones along with Google Play in general more appealing.
But the company still has a long way to go when it comes to music, movies and TV shows. The selection is paltry in the US and non-existent in most of the rest of the world. Granted, that's not a Google problem, most large web companies, not to mention the media industry, tend to forget that there are people outside of the US.