Google Play Books finally comes to MY, most of SE Asia

Google beats out Amazon and follows Kobo by making its online bookstore available in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Phillippines and Thailand

Google's managed to do what Apple and Amazon has so far not done: open up its ebooks for sale to Malaysia and a host of other Asian countries.

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Ebooks coming your way, but for a price

Before Google Play made books available, Malaysian biblophiles had only Kobo as a source for online ebook purchases. Yet there is a (literal) price to this. Like Kobo, Google's pricing is a bit on the high side when compared to Amazon's Kindle store.

In some cases, the price of a real book differed by only a few ringgit with Google Play prices. For instance, Susanne Collin's "Catching Fire" is RM27.44 in Google Play while buying it from Kinokuniya can cost between RM29.90 to RM42.90, depending on the edition. But some ebooks are significantly cheaper than their real-life counterparts, when you take into account the taxes Malaysia puts on books which make books comparatively expensive in the country.

Google Play books is also let down by an interface that is not as conducive for book buying when compared to either Amazon or Kobo. Loading up the page shows a limited amount of books, giving the impression that Google's selection is limited. Still it is a convenient resource in a country where censorship and high book prices are an inconvenience to local booklovers.

Currently the countries that have Google Play Books available are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam.