Google Presents Google Editions at Digital Book World

At the Digital Book World Conference this morning, Google’s Amanda Edwards gave a concise talk on what we can expect from Google Editions. It sounds pretty cool and convenient, mostly because Google’s major objective is to make books available anywhere on any device. Hooray for openness.

Edwards quoted Google’s maxim for the project: “We’d like to make it so that books can be bought anywhere and read anywhere.” That means, once purchased–through Google itself, retail partners, or through partnerships with device manufacturers–Google Editions eBooks will be available on any Internet enabled device via the user’s online bookshelf, which will be tied to that user’s Google account. Google will also enable eBooks to be cached to local devices and downloaded to eReaders.

Edwards said that anytime someone is previewing a book–from Google, a retail partner, or the publisher’s own site–Google wants to create an opportunity to buy both print and digital editions. That should make publishers happy, given how scared many of them are that they’ll lose print sales to eBooks. What will also make publishers and retail partners happy is that Google also plans to make it so that purchases made through retail partners keep customers in the purchase flow of that same site, rather than redirecting them to a store elsewhere.