Never mind its experiments with snippets and the occasional free-but-old-or-odd novel; sometime this summer, Google is going to become a proper (digital) bookseller. A strategic partner development manager at the company said today that it will go into business by launching a site called Google Editions.
Chris Palma spoke at Random House's offices in Manhattan, which is one indicator of how important this development may be. Another is the title of the event: "The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud?"
Anyway, Jessica E. Vascellaro and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg reported afterward that Google will try to establish deals with publishers, and then, "Google says its new service . . . will allow users to buy digital copies of books they discover through its book-search service." Which should put Google into competition with Amazon and Apple.
What's more, Google will let lots of other companies in on the game, as Vascellaro and Trachtenberg said it'll "also allow book retailers - even independent shops - to sell Google Editions on their own sites, taking the bulk of the revenue."
Look for Google Editions to be unveiled in late June or early July.