At the recent Frankfurt Book Fair, Google provided more information about its Google Editions program that is set to launch in the U.S. and Europe by June 2010. As mentioned in a previous posting, the program will let publishers sell in-print e-books directly to consumers. The digital books will be stored in a cloud so that users can access the books from any device including laptops, smart phones, and e-readers. According to a posting on the Bookseller.com, once a user has accessed the book from a device, a cached version will be stored so that the book can be read offline from that point on.
Google Editions will allow users to purchase books from three sources: Google Books, partner retailers, and from publisher’s websites. Publishers will benefit from a 63:37 payment split with Google when books are purchased from Google Books and a 45:55 split with the retailer and Google when books are purchased from a retailer. It has not been determined how the payments will be split when the books are bought from publisher websites.
In addition, a posting from Yahoo! Tech News notes that about half a million books will be available when Google Edition launches. Details about which online retailers will participate have not been announced.