Today Google launched Google Books, an e-book store designed to compete with similar stores from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Google Books will be readable on many devices, such as Android phones and tablets, the iPhone, iPad and Ipod Touch as well as online and on many e-readers like the Nook or the ones made by Sony.
The idea behind the new Google Books e-book platform is designed to compete with the Amazon Kindle bookstore, which also offers a large collection of e-books that can be read on many of these same devices and the company's flagship reader, the Kindle. Notably, books purchased from Google Books will not work on the Kindle, but they will work on the Nook Color.
Google Books will keep your e-book titles and your place in sync across multiple devices. Along with the bookstore launch, Google has released a collection of specific Apps for Android, iPhone and iPad, which streamline the buying and reading process. You can find these apps in the app store, though at the time of this writing the iPad app was not available. Users also are able to read titles on the web or download an ePub or PDF file.
The cost of e-books in the Google Books store is similar to what you'll find on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble; especially on New York Times best sellers. The majority of the books will be available for less than $20.
Looking at several top sellers like James Patterson's Cross Fire, Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and George Bush's Decision Points, the prices were the same across all three bookstores. When we first checked the prices we saw Cross Fire for $2 more on Google Books, but the price dropped to match the competition.
While we don't expect to see price wars, we do expect to see similar pricing across many of the major e-book stores during the holiday season.
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