Google expects pre-Xmas launch for e-book platform

Google expects pre-Xmas launch for e-book platform

<p>Google&#39;s e-book platform Google Editions will launch in the US before Christmas, it can be confirmed. Speaking at FutureBook 2010, <em>The Bookseller&#39;s </em>digital conference, Jason Hanley, strategic partner development, said the launch was now close, and the platform was expected to go live before the holiday season begins.</p><p>Hanley would not divulge a specific date, but said: &quot;It will be before I go on my Christmas holidays, and I am taking an early holiday this year.&quot; When asked by fellow delegate the author Nick Harkaway, &quot;Which Christmas?&quot;, Hanley confirmed that the launch was imminent. Hanley said that a European launch would follow soon after but said that it could be delayed as the firm irons out any wrinkles after the US launch.</p><p><em>The Bookseller </em>has previously reported that contract discussions have begun in the US and UK over the launch, with Hachette US confirmed as&nbsp; one participant. The <em>Wall Street Journal</em> reports today that in recent weeks, independent booksellers, which are expected to play a big role in Google Editions,<a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870436930457563260230575946... target="_blank" title="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870436930457563260230575946... began receiving contracts from their trade group</a>. Several publishers said they were exchanging files with Google&mdash;a sign that it is close to launch, publishers say. PaidContent reports that <a href="http://paidcontent.org/article/419-googles-e-books-store-will-start-off-... target="_blank">Google Editions will launch with 500,000 titles.</a></p><p>The long-delayed venture recently has cleared several technical and legal hurdles, people close to the company told the <em>WSJ</em>. Scott Dougall, a Google product management director said: &quot;Because of the complexity of this project, we didn&#39;t want to come out with something that wasn&#39;t thorough.&quot; </p><p>Publishers cautioned, however, that the project could be delayed again.</p>