One of my resolutions for 2011 is to purchase no print books unless necessary (for a project or other priority and an electronic version of the book doesn’t yet exist). This means I am going to be doing my reading on either my iPad or Kindle. Now, Google Books is entering the eBooks mix with clients for Android, PC, Mac, and the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. I checked out the Google Books app on my iPad and it left me wondering why Google took this step except as a disruptive move over a market segment.
During 2010, I did the bulk of my leisure and professional reading on my Kindle whether on the actual device or the application via my iPad and iPhone. I make infrequent use of the Kindle clients on my Windows 7 PC and MacBook Pro. I also got a few books on iBooks. While I like the iBooks app a lot – despite the UI’s rough edges – and see myself continuing to use it because of the rich reading experience (and getting iTunes gift cards at Christmas and on my birthday!).
However, despite looking like a complete convert, the pricing models for the Kindle and iBooks store still bothers me at times. I spent time in computer book publishing during the great computer book over publishing of the mid nineties so I got a peek inside the business. A lot of costs were tied up in printing and distribution that moving to an electronic delivery medium should shave off a lot of costs which could be passed back to the consumer. No dice.
Google has a lot to bring to the table with eBooks. Unfortunately, their initial effort is just another market disruptor. There is not enough here yet to distract me away from my Kindle or iBooks app.
Have you tried out Google Books?