This post originally appeared on Munsey’s Technosnarl on 12/27/10.
Hokay, Google’s bookstore, launched Dec. 8th or so, is now giving sales stats. Results are promising, at least v. B&N or Kobo, less per title than Apple, but still a good start. Some portions, like the “sold through retailers” thing, aren’t looking as hot, but Google did manage to sell 4 copies via third parties, which is about 4 more than I expected.
Here’s why Google, and not B&N/Kobo/Sony/Apple/Agency/whatev, is the biggest ebook story of the year: They take away Amazon’s most powerful weapon against publishers. You can’t bury us in search anymore, Jeff.
I’d been putting titles into Google, by pointing their uploader to a directory w/ all the .pdfs I created for LSI/CSpace, and then taking Dusty for a long walk past the swimming pool while it processed. Through this arduous process, I’ve got 699 books live, another 150 pending, and can double that amount in short order, maybe after the uploader better supports .epub format (I’ve got a thousand such titles that I’d already prepared for Kobo… whenever the uploader supports .epub. Google does say that’ll happen soon, though it has been a while.)
The reason for going Google isn’t that I was so flush from ad revenue from Google Book Search; it’s that a book in Google’s search engine can, in many circumstances, be found, where it cannot be on Amazon.