Google’s Plan for Your Ebook Reading

by John Soares on March 10, 2011

I recently wrote about why I think publishers should pay a 50% royalty on e-books. In that post I focused on the money, but there is also the big question of how e-books will be delivered and consumed. There are many different e-book readers — Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, etc., and several companies are working hard to develop the dominant reader/platform.

Google has a different concept for ebooks. The Big G thinks your ebooks should be online and available for you to read from any device. You can check out the Google ebookstore, and also watch this short and very informative video –

Your Take

What do you think of Google’s ebook concept? How does it compare to other delivery systems for e-books? Are you currently selling your e-books through any of these content delivery systems?

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    { 22 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Eric Soares March 10, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    I’ve never used Kindle as a reader, because I enjoy having a real book in my hand and not another electronic device. I have yet to publish my books in Kindle or other e-book form, but I plan to do it for my CONFESSIONS OF A WAVE WARRIOR book soon. If there’s money to be made, it must be checked out.

    I think Google’s idea of “going to the Cloud” to get a book is going to work. I bet Netflix and the like will try to cash in on the concept, as they do now with movies.

    A nagging thought occasionally intrudes upon my thoughts–what will we do when the Cloud suddenly evaporates?

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    2 John Soares March 10, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Eric, I also prefer physical books and think I will for a quite awhile. I do see a time in the near future when most people will be reading e-books, either on a reader or through a mix of methods as advocated by Google. As writers, we need to pay attention to what’s happening so we’re prepared.

    Regarding the “cloud” itself, I don’t like entrusting everything to the cyberspace gods. I also don’t want to be tethered to the Internet all the time.
    John Soares recently posted…Top Time Management Techniques for Freelance Writers

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    3 Fred Leo March 10, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Twitter: @solobizcoach

    I love the Kindle App on my iPad. With its whispernet technology, I can read a book on my iPad, and then when I go to read on my Droid X, it will open the book to the last page I read. This is great.
    Fred Leo recently posted…The 4-Hour Workweek – A Business Killer

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    4 John Soares March 11, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    Fred, I think that’s the biggest advantage of Google’s concept. It will appeal to people who are nearly always connected to the web and do so through multiple devices.

    Turns out I’m not one of those people. I don’t have a smart phone or an iPad, and my computer is turned off for at least 12 hours out of every 24.
    John Soares recently posted…Top 10 Tips For a Successful Teleseminar-Podcast Interview

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    5 Anne Sales March 11, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    I too, like a book that I can hold in my hands. But then again, the idea of having a portable library at your disposal, is very appealing.
    Therefore, I am excited about the opportunity that Google are aiming to provide.
    Anne Sales recently posted…epc Belfast

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    6 John Soares March 11, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    Anne, I’m usually a late adopter of technology. I definitely prefer to read physical books, but I’ll watch what happens with the technology and decide if I want to make the leap to digital books.

    I do, or course, buy e-books and read them on my computer, but it’s so easy to lose track of them and forget about them.
    John Soares recently posted…Why Publishers Should Pay a 50-Percent Royalty on E-Books

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    7 Khaled@Crystal glass beads March 11, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    I like having a printed book because I find its easier on the eye to read and more relaxing than reading at a pc (haven’t tried the kindle yet). Because I love reading and buying books I have a huge collection that has filled all our book shelves and quite a number of boxes in the attic, so its not going to be long before I run out of space. I can definitely see the advantages of using the Google ebook store the only down side I can see is that you need the internet. If Im going on holiday or travelling abroad I might not have an internet connection so I am kind of drawn to purchasing the kindle which is supposed to be easy on the eyes, because I also like to read when Im feeling tired or before bed.
    Khaled@Crystal glass beads recently posted…What are the Differences Between Natural and Cultured Pearls

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    8 John Soares March 11, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    Khaled, I hear you about loving print books and having an extensive collection.

    Over the last couple of years I’ve donated over half of my books. For me to keep a book it must meet at least one of these criteria:

    1. It has information I think I’ll need to access within the next year or two.

    2. I’ve underlined it and/or made notes in it.

    3. It can’t be easily replaced.
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    9 Dave Doolin March 11, 2011 at 6:07 AM

    Twitter: @doolin

    Here’s what I think: I need to upload something and see how it works from the author’s end as well.

    I’m with Khaled though, too. I’ve bought more printed books over the last several months than ebooks. There is something about the publishing process when ink hits dead trees which seems to vastly improve quality. For a recent example, my WordPress plugin book arrived yesterday. Chapter 1 alone is worth the $30 I paid for it. And it’s 400-500 pages long.
    Dave Doolin recently posted…Social Media Can Be More Than a Distribution Channel

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    10 John Soares March 11, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    Dave, in a few months I’ll likely place my current e-books and the ones I’m currently writing for sale on Kindle and other e-book platforms. I’m waiting in part for technology to crystallize and formats to get easier to use.
    John Soares recently posted…2010 Book and E-Book Sales Data for the United States

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    11 Anne Waymn March 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    Twitter: @annewayman

    John, I’m not wired all the time either, but I do have an iPad (no TV and I wanted netflix and other stuff out of my office.) So now I read ebooks and printed books… still prefer print, but…

    As an author I know darn well I’m going to have to deliver ebooks or my publisher will. This move of google’s is fascinating – how are they handling digital rights? I’ll have to go read.

    Thanks for this.
    Anne Waymn recently posted…Carol Tice &amp Judy Dunn On Blogging – A Webinar

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    12 John Soares March 11, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Ann, I think part of the reason I still prefer old-fashioned books is because I look at a computer screen so much for my work.

    I salute you for going without TV. I don’t have regular TV channels, but I do own a TV and I watch about 2-3 hours per week of shows and movies I get on Netflix.
    John Soares recently posted…Why Publishers Should Pay a 50-Percent Royalty on E-Books

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    13 Patricia@lavender-oils March 13, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    Twitter: @lavenderuses

    Hi John

    I love printed books but do read a lot of teaching e-books online. Like the sound of Google’s cloud and will probably be trying it out.

    They predicted the demise of printed books awhile back and yet there are still plenty around. Will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia@lavender-oils recently posted…Comments Do Not Equal Sales!

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    14 John Soares March 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Patricia, I don’t think print books are going away; they’ll just have less and less of overall market share. I think we’ll see more movement to the print-on-demand model for print books and the continued decline of brick-and-mortar bookstores, which is why I argued in an earlier post that publishers should give authors a 50% royalty on net receipts from e-book sales.
    John Soares recently posted…How I Improved My Sales Page and Increased Conversion Rates for My E-Book

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    15 Juli Monroe March 15, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Twitter: @1to1Discovery

    I like the idea of books being in the cloud and accessible everywhere. And I love e-books. I’ve been reading them for years, starting on an old PalmOS device.

    However, I am underwhelmed by Google Books. Right now, I do most of my reading on my brand new NookColor (which I am loving), but the feature I most like about Google Books (reading on multiple devices) doesn’t work with any dedicated e-book reader. And the books aren’t available on Kindle, which is still the biggest selling dedicated device.

    So, good concept, but the execution leaves something to be desired. Right now Google Books has no advantage over the Nook Store for me.
    Juli Monroe recently posted…Social Media Strategic Marketing Plan

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    16 Fran Grabowski March 20, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Twitter: @Frantilly

    I like ebooks because of flexibility. I can read in bed without a night light and I don’t have to position a 10lb. book on my lap. I can look up every occurrence of a word, which is great for research. I can be reading 10 books and you can open up to the last page read on every one. I prefer the ebook, but I don’t think paper books are going away any time soon.

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    17 John Soares March 21, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Fran, you point out some key advantages of reading e-books. And you’ve also hit on one of my pet peeves about print books. Some of ‘em are so heavy that they are hard to hold up when I’m reading in bed.
    John Soares recently posted…Just Released — The Second Edition of My Writing College Textbook Supplements E-Book

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    18 Michael Kauffmann April 2, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Twitter: @mkauffmann

    John- I appreciate the updates for this new technology. I need to learn more about it – it will be a powerful tool moving forward. I want to know more about formatting these sort of projects. It seems like pdf’s work on most of these devices?

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    19 Juli Monroe April 4, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    Twitter: @1to1Discovery

    pdfs work, but I wouldn’t say they work well. Most pdfs don’t reflow, and with the small screens, users have to zoom in, which leads to a lot of back and forth on the screen. The Kindle DX handles pdfs the best, but even that’s not great. pdfs look pretty on my Nook Color, but I have to zoom in to read the text, and that’s kind of a pain.
    Juli Monroe recently posted…Read The News!

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    20 John Soares April 5, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    PDFs are definitely not ideal, but they are easy to create and they are universal.
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    21 Jan June 30, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    I LOVE my kindle. It’s easy on the eyes, lightweight, you can read with one hand while you’re taking a lunch break outdoors (no worries about the wind blowing your pages around), and you can take a large library with you without the weight/bulk of physical books. I can also read those same books on my computer, iphone, and kindle without having to be connected to the internet all the time. I’m an ‘active reader’ (meaning I take lots of notes, etc while reading) and can easily look up those notes later for review. I think I’ll just stick to the kindle for my reading, but of course for publishing purposes will keep my eyes on other methods.
    Jan recently posted…What to do if your dog is bitten by a snake…

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    22 John Soares July 1, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    I still haven’t purchased an e-reader, Kindle or otherwise. I may eventually make the switch, but I have such a large investment in my print books, both monetarily and emotionally, that I’m not quite ready to make the leap.

    I still read lots of ebooks as PDF files on my computer.
    John Soares recently posted…8 Ways to Increase the Joy of Writing

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