A company best known for delivering search results and pushing ads should begin to sell digital books sometime in the next 30 days. A Google exec has gone on the record saying that an ebookstore called Google Editions will launch within that window.
A sort of historical note/forecast: when we first heard about Google Editions - which will put Google into competition with Amazon and Apple, along with several other companies - it was supposed to debut this summer. And Google may have missed a big opportunity by pushing the launch so close to Christmas, since many people won't want to experiment when it comes to their loved one's presents.
Still, the latest Google Editions schedule at least seems solid. A Wall Street Journal article reported this morning, "It is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the year and internationally in the first quarter of next year, said Scott Dougall, a Google product management director."
Furthermore, "Several publishers said they were exchanging files with Google - a sign that it is close to launch, publishers say."
So any time now, Google should begin selling digital books that'll be accessible via almost any device, and sites that help line up purchases should become eligible to get a cut of the revenue.
Google Editions may benefit from a lot of media attention, too, since the upside of launching in December is that there are usually more slow news days.