Google plans 'buy anywhere, read anywhere' offer

<p>Google is poised to launch its &quot;buy anywhere, read anywhere&quot; digital books programme Google Editions simultaneously in the US, UK and Europe within the first half of next year.<br /><br />Speaking at the Tools of Change conference in Frankfurt, Amanda Edmonds, Google&#39;s director of strategic partnerships, said the programme would be rolled out by June. Edmonds said one of the strengths of Google&#39;s offering was that once bought, the e-book would exist in a &quot;cloud library&quot;, which could be accessed from potentially any device, including laptops, &quot;smart phones&quot; or e-readers. &quot;As long as you can get onto the library, you can access it,&quot; Edmonds said. &quot;All books will live in the same library, so it doesn&#39;t matter where you buy it or where you read it.&quot;<br /><br />Once a book has been accessed on a given device, a cached version will exist, making it possible for readers to access the book offline. &quot;There&#39;s a really complex set of offerings out there for the consumer. Our concept is that it should be open: they shouldn&#39;t have to pick the device, software or retailer,&quot; said Edmonds.<br /><br />Google Editions has three business models: to allow the consumer to buy the e-book via Google Books; to buy it from a partner retailer; or from a publisher&#39;s own website. Payment will be split 63/37 in the publisher&#39;s favour through the first route, while if the book is bought from a retailer, the publisher will take 45%, with the remaining 55% split between retailer and Google. Edmonds said discussions were &quot;just beginning&quot; as to what split that would be. She added no split had been decided on for books bought via a publisher&#39;s site.<br /><br />Edmonds said Google may discount books from their list price in countries where this is permitted, however the discount would be taken from Google&#39;s slice of the profit, not the publisher&#39;s.<br /><br />Existing retail and publisher partnerships that the company has through its Google Preview programme are expected to pave the way for groups to sign up. W H Smith, Blackwell and The Book Depository are existing partners, as are thousands of UK publishers.<br /><br />Edmonds said it was &quot;definitely&quot; Google&#39;s intention to partner with device manufacturers, but declined to give names. She added she &quot;doubted&quot; Kindle would be on board.&nbsp; <br /><br />The one topic Edmonds would not comment on was the Google Settlement. </p>