Google eBooks

Yet another Google service/business has been launched to very little fanfare. Google ebooks offer a huge number of current titles and also older works now out of copyright. Given that Google has scanned a vast swathe of print books already (outraging many publishers) one would think they have a big advantage over other ebook providers. Their ebooks are only available for sale or download in the USA at present, though they promise this will soon expand to other markets. The formats available are PDF and epub. Most older books are available only in PDF format. In a best-case scenario, Google will provide effective competition for Amazon in this market. Google is often good at keeping entry costs low, and may allow publishers to keep more of the sale price of their ebooks.