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Old 12-18-2009, 06:48 AM   #1
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First official information on Google Editions

The first official information on Google Editions has been put online by Google.

Some excerpts from the Getting started with Google Editions page:

Quote:
Google Editions is an upcoming paid access product that will allow consumers to easily purchase and read digital editions of books. Consumers will be able to preview a book, as they do today in Google Books, and will also have the option to purchase its Google Edition. After purchase, the book will live in the consumer's online bookshelf, available to be accessed and read on most devices with internet access and a web browser; as well as on supported partner devices (to be announced during our public launch).
Google Editions will be offered through the Google Books program. Existing partners (publishers) will be able to sell access to their uploaded books.

Interestingly, Google will offer the Adobe content server 4 drm scheme. Publishers can also choose not to apply drm. No words about ebook formats, but I assume that the service is based on the pdf files that are already stored in the Google Books database (no ePub can be uploaded as far as I know).

Google Editions will be made available for online reading online, as can be understood from the security page:

Quote:
Each consumer's Google Edition has a unique coding that caches the book when it is accessed through a browser (as opposed to a digital download; see more information on file protection here). This means that the Google Edition is broken down into fragments and temporarily stored in - and accessed through - the browser window. The Google Editions web experience, therefore, is not that of a file download - it is an experience that is optimized for reading in the browser. This allows Google to detect and protect against abuse of each Google Edition.
The publishers can set the retail price for each publication (but it should not exceed 100% of the print price). Publishers can also offer bundles; so that readers can get access to the digital edition when buying a print copy.

Copy-paste and printing limitations can also be set by the publisher:

Quote:
You can also choose to allow buyers to copy, paste and print your Google Editions without restriction. By default, consumers will only be able to copy and paste up to 20% of a book's content over a sixty day period. Additionally, consumers by default can print 100% of their purchased Google Editions but are limited to printing 20 pages per single print command.
Google Editions will be launched somewhere in 2010. It is not clear yet whether only U.S. based publishers can participate, or that Editions will also be open to publishers worldwide.

It will be interesting to see how publishers, readers and booksellers will react to Google Editions. I think that the platform agnostic approach is a very clever move from Google. But since there are no details yet on how Google Editions can be read on dedicated ereaders or smartphones, it is difficult to speculate on how Editions will influence the market share of Amazon, B&N etc.

(via Uitgever 2.0)
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:22 AM   #2
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Google Editions will be launched somewhere in 2010. It is not clear yet whether only U.S. based publishers can participate, or that Editions will also be open to publishers worldwide.
There's hope that it will be, though, since the sales settings include granular selections worldwide by country code.

Quote:
Default Territories: These settings define the default territories/countries in which your books will be made available for sale to consumers as Google Editions. If you'd like to sell Google Editions of your books in the same countries in which they can be previewed,
Fiddling with the URL of the partner sign-up page to eliminate US-specific tags, I got what looks like the partner sign-up for international partners. It looks like it will definitely be available worldwide.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:27 AM   #3
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And another really smart move on Google's part, making it easy for publishers to sell paper/e-book bundles:

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Google Editions Bundle Price: When Google Editions are available to consumers, retailers may choose to sell your Google Editions book in a bundle with the print copy. This setting allows you to specify the percentage of the Google Editions list price that you would like to charge when the print and digital editions are sold together.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:30 AM   #4
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Fiddling with the URL of the partner sign-up page to eliminate US-specific tags, I got what looks like the partner sign-up for international partners. It looks like it will definitely be available worldwide.
What you found is the default Google Books registration page. I am already a registered Google Books partner and I can upload books, but for search & snippet viewing only. There is no 'Editions' tab yet in my admin panel.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:58 AM   #5
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No epub? Google offers ePub right now. I have Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary (not by him, about him) in my Google Books and it offers me an ePub download:

http://books.google.com/books?id=TBc...age&q=&f=false

The browser display seems to be a scanned PDF image file, and I have not tried it on my Reader yet, so maybe it is just images, but it does offer the option of an ePub download now.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llreader View Post
No epub? Google offers ePub right now. I have Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary (not by him, about him) in my Google Books and it offers me an ePub download:

http://books.google.com/books?id=TBc...age&q=&f=false

The browser display seems to be a scanned PDF image file, and I have not tried it on my Reader yet, so maybe it is just images, but it does offer the option of an ePub download now.
You can read it as plain text with images and copy/paste. Also pdf has the ability of showing the images of the pages and maintain a hidden layer with the text that you can copy/paste. Indeed, such feature exists also in google books interface (clip button).

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Old 12-18-2009, 09:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by llreader View Post
No epub? Google offers ePub right now. I have Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary (not by him, about him) in my Google Books and it offers me an ePub download
Google works with OCR in Google Books, many of the (scanned/pdf) ebooks have been converted to ePub this way (that's why many ePub ebooks from Google contain many errors). Publishers cannot upload ePub directly AFAIK.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #8
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Ah, OK. Has anyone asked for the option? What do they say in response?
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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Funny of me... But has anybody else noticed that you don't actually get the book? All you get is access to the book on the web site. Fat lot of good that does if you're not attached to the internet....
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:23 AM   #10
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Funny of me... But has anybody else noticed that you don't actually get the book? All you get is access to the book on the web site. Fat lot of good that does if you're not attached to the internet....
That won't matter when the long-awaited, heavily-rumored, greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread Google Tablet comes out. (Take that, Apple!)
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:25 AM   #11
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Funny of me... But has anybody else noticed that you don't actually get the book? All you get is access to the book on the web site. Fat lot of good that does if you're not attached to the internet....
From what I've read, the book will be available off-line once you've viewed it online.

Still hoping for dedicated reader support.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:27 AM   #12
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That won't matter when the long-awaited, heavily-rumored, greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread Google Tablet comes out. (Take that, Apple!)
Pardon me, but that does matter to me on a long flight......(Or a long car drive....)

You see, Google has twigged on the ultimate DRM. Never let have a copy of anything.....Make people pay just for the access. Just like Hollywood selling tickets...
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:35 AM   #13
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I dunno...I downloaded an epub book (The Wanderer by Fanny Burney) from Google and loaded it on my reader and it's a mess. The formatting is borked and there's loads of OCR errors, to the point that it is unreadable in places. Fortunately I found a clean version of the book on Munsey's. But I wonder if the "paid" books will be like that? If so, there will be some disappointed consumers, I think.

The fact that it's quite an old book, with an old font in the scan, might have something to do with it.

Last edited by MaggieScratch; 12-18-2009 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Pardon me, but that does matter to me on a long flight......(Or a long car drive....)

You see, Google has twigged on the ultimate DRM. Never let have a copy of anything.....Make people pay just for the access. Just like Hollywood selling tickets...
Yeah. Well. That was meant to be a joke.

Anyway, to get to the facts of the matter, the Google Editions page linked in the original post states:
Quote:
Here you may specify how consumers can interact with the Google Edition of the book they have purchased from you. You can choose not to apply Digital Rights Managment (DRM) software to the digital file download of your book.
I suspect there's little reason to put that in if the user weren't going to be able to download a file, no?
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:51 AM   #15
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I looked over the google publishing page--it still appears to be in its infancy. It can easily take a book if it has all the standard info (including ISBN)--but it also wants PDF (no other formats supported that I could see for uploading). This would seem to mess with the formatting on the "sale" end. They do take print also, but we all know what a scanned copy ends up looking like.

It will likely come along quickly, but at this point seems to be grabbing the lowest fruit, and doing little to turn them into wonderful apple pies.
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