Two of the online world’s biggest online icons are revolutionizing the process of reading as we know it. Google and Amazon are bringing the good old fashioned joy of reading books into the digital age with major plans to enter the eBook market.
According to the report by the New York Times, Google is looking to charge for access to the books they have indexed while Amazon is releasing a new product (The Kindle), which is an eBook reading device to compliment their extensive range of eBooks.
Google’s plans to charge for access to full text versions of books they’ve indexed are different to their Google Book Search Library Project. The Google Book Search Library Project involved the search giant cataloging a wide range of books from various libraries with snippets offered to browsers. The eBook plans involve complete copies of books that Google’s spiders have indexed over the years.
At this stage, there are no indications of how Google will share revenue with authors or publishers, but their plans are sure to stir up a hornets’ nest if their model doesn’t meet their price. The plans do fit nicely with their goal of being the world’s core source for information and more recently – entertainment.
Amazon, who has been offering premium eBooks for some time, won’t be impressed with Google’s plans to enter the market. Amazon currently offers their eBooks in the non standard format developed by Mobipocket (reminiscent of Apple’s approach to iTunes) which may make Google’s offering more attractive to eBook readers.
To provide the complete eBook experience, they are busy launching The Kindle, a device designed to make reading their eBooks convenient and portable. Similar to the already launched Sony eBook reader, The Kindle will provide web surfing functionality (which Sony doesn’t offer yet) and allow users to read other eBooks and digital publications also.
With no medium being left untouched by these online giants, eBooks were the logical extension to the new media commercialization drive that has already engulfed audio and video.
If you’ve created original reference worthy content, be that books, research reports, industry white papers or any other hard copy documents – get started and ensure it’s now available in digital format. By making them available online and ensuring they’re indexed by Google, you could be welcoming a new income opportunity.