Google is launching an online bookstore, but is playing nice with Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the process.
During the Frankfurt Book Fair today, Google announced its intentions to open an online bookstore in the first half of next year. Called Google Editions, the company plans to initially offer around a half-million e-books, and will deliver them to anyone with a Web browser rather than a specific device or application.
"We're not focused on a dedicated e-reader or device of any kind," said Google's director of strategic partnerships Tom Turvey. He added that userswill be able to read the e-books on any connected device including notebooks, PCs, netbooks, and smartphones. Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users will be able to access the e-books through their Gmail accounts.
Google said that it is collaborating with publishers that already have digital right deals with the search titan. Google doesn't plan on keeping exclusive distribution rights either: users can purchase books directly from Google, or get them from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Google plans to share the revenue with publishers and online bookstores.
According to CNET, Google will get 37-percent of the revenue from books sold directly from Google Editions, while publishers will rack in 63-percent. Books sold through Amazon or other online retailers will get 55-percent while the publisher takes in 45-percent of the sale.