Jessica A. Vascellaro and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, Google to Launch Digital Books by Early Summer, Wall Street Journal:
Google Inc. will begin selling digital books as early as late June or July, a company representative said Tuesday, jumping into a battle that already involves Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc.
Chris Palma, Google’s manager for strategic-partner development, announced the timetable at a panel on Google’s plans sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group in New York. The event, held at Random House’s Manhattan offices, was entitled: “The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud?” …
Google says users will be able to buy digital copies of books they discover through its book-search service. It will also allow book retailers—even independent shops—to sell Google Editions on their own sites, taking the bulk of the revenue. Google is still deciding whether it will follow the model where publishers set the retail price or where Google sets retail prices.
These aren’t books under the settlement; these will be e-books that publishers have explicitly authorized Google to sell. But it is clear that Google is ramping up its books infrastructure, and is working to establish that the company is very serious about the book business.