Google is planning to launch an e-book store in the first half of next year to compete with Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Google Editions will sell platform-agnostic e-books, and will open with a catalogue of 400,000 to 600,000 titles. Google said that it is not aiming the store just at e-book reader users, but at anyone with a browser and an internet connection.
"It will be browser-based access," Tom Turvey, head of Google Book Search's publisher partnership programme, told Associated Press. "The way the e-book market will evolve is by accessing the book from anywhere, from an access and a geographical point of view."
Google indicated that the books would not be purchased and downloaded as with conventional e-book readers, but instead stored in a "cloud library".
The company will try two different business models: selling the book directly and taking a 37 per cent cut; or selling through the publisher or retailer with a different commission plan.
The Association of American Publishers estimates that the e-book market in the US is currently worth $113m (£70m), and is growing at 68 per cent a year.
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