Today The Wall Street Journal reported that Google Inc. is in the fine stages of launching Google Editions, the company’s own online ebook store that would compete with Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and others. Reports state that Google Editions could launch by the end of 2010. With this launch Google is making an effort to open up a closed ebook market, in a similar philosophy that it has taken with its Android OS.Google’s goal is to provide ebooks that consumers can read anywhere. Users will buy books directly from Google or from other online retailers—including independent bookstores. These books will then be added to an online library tied to a user’s Google account. From this account users will be able to access books on most devices with a web browser, such as smartphones, tablets and computers.
"Google is going to turn every Internet space that talks about a book into a place where you can buy that book," said for The Wall Street Journal Dominique Raccah , publisher and owner of Sourcebooks Inc. "The Google model is going to drive a lot of sales. We think they could get 20% of the e-book market very fast."
Google’s goal with this project seems grand: ebook ubiquity. The company seeks to make ebook distribution and access as ubiquitous as drinking water. Can Google do this? Well, that is yet to be seen, though the general approach has worked well for them in the mobile device market .
Google’s entry, even though it may be late, is possibly the final push that digital books need for mainstream adoption. What does this mean for marketers? Looking at sales of e-readers as well as tablet devices, it looks like 2011 is poised to be a year on continued shift in the way people consumer information. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, it is critical to provide news, information and thought-leadership content in a format that allows for maximum consumption and engagement from prospects, leads and customers.
This likely means keeping a close eye on how your audience is accessing your content online. Additionally, you may consider looking for industry research or conducting a survey of your target customers to see how many of them consume ebooks and long-form digital content.
If you find that ebooks are an important part of the information mix that appeals to your target audience, then you might want to consider distributing your long-form content, like whitepapers and product catalogs in ebook formats. This will add an extra step to your content production process, but using a service like Lulu.com, you can self-publish an ebook quickly and create a new way for your inbound marketing content to be consumed.
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