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Google Editions to offer e-books this month

December 1, 2010 |  9:33 am

Google Here come the Google e-books -– finally.

After months of delays, the online bookstore to be known as Google Editions is set to go live by the end of the month in the U.S., followed by an international launch in January.

Far-flung access is the tactic du jour: On top of millions of books that will be available for free, buyers will be able to read books through the site and also download copies onto computers, e-readers and smart phones.

The default price through Google will be 80% of the lowest list price of the print edition.

Google will also link up to other retailer websites, where customers can purchase the books and then add them to a digital library linked to a Google account. Is it any wonder that independent booksellers are thrilled?

The format could give competitors a run for their money. Previously, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble had dominated the e-book market with their Kindle and Nook reading tablets and proprietary software.

For now, though, users will have to stick with the look-but-don't-touch model of Google Books, which permits previews of text.

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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo credit: Virginia Mayo / Associated Press

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