Representatives from Google met with publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week and revealed that the long-awaited Google Editions will debut (in the U.S., at least) this year, despite rumours to the contrary. According to The Bookseller:
Abraham Murray, product manager on Google’s Books team, said at launch in the U.S. there would be over 400,000 paid-for titles available from “publisher partners,” along with two million public domain titles, but that more titles would be made available once the service opened internationally [in 2011]. He said the company was working with more than 35,000 publisher partners, in more than 100 countries, and added that he hoped to launch in “much of Europe in first half of the following year.”
However, there are already signs that Google Editions might not be the saviour publishers were hoping for. Though Google plans to use the publisher-preferred agency pricing model, the Google rep admitted this was not a model Google had sought out and hinted that it might be subject to change:
“We will meet the needs of the market, and we are accepting the agency model in the U.S., but we haven’t gone after it, and as that plays out we will follow,” he said.