For decades now there’s been a question as to whether or not books would stay alive in the modern world. While a silly question when the only competition was found in movies, TV shows, and radio presentations, the electronic formats of today have made more than a small dent in the book publication market. Of course, while that’s bad news for publishers, it may be a boon to authors. Thanks to eBooks and various eBook outlets, it’s now easier for less established writers to get their first book on the market – if, perhaps, with a smaller average profit; your typical writer in America makes about $6,000 annually.
The point is that while print publications of books are declining, eBook outlets are skyrocketing. Google has provided an apt example for us with their eBook application. Released on three major mediums (Google Chrome, Android systems, and iOS), the six-month-old project has already seen 2.5 million app downloads. While not yet standing toe-to-toe with the Apple iBookstore(which has seen over 100 million book downloads) or the Amazon eBook marketplace, the 2.5 million figure represents astounding momentum for Google.
Google has also seen substantial expansion in the number of publisher and re-seller partnerships. At launch Google was working with 5,000 publishers and 100 independent booksellers, and has increased those figures to 7,000 and 250, respectively.
Some commentators are skeptical. Clint Boulton of Google Watch, for example, stated that “Google eBooks is looking like an also-ran, me-too and a folly by Google.” It’s important to acknowledge where Boulton is coming from. Google is not a leader in this industry, and their number of downloads and partnerships are far from impressive. However, they’re also coming out of the gate fast. Google eBooks is by no means ignorable. Over the course of the next one to two years, Google is likely to be competitive with the established eBook resellers in the market.
[via Google Watch]