Google to rival Amazon in e-book market

Amazon may well be leading the way in the e-book revolution at the moment, but it seems Google might fancy getting in on the act as well.Although it i

Although it isn't about to develop a product to rival the Kindle, the New York Times is reporting that Google is planning to enter the commercial e-book business before 2009 is out.

The difference between Amazon and Google is that the search engine giant will allow publishers to set their own prices for their e-books, while Amazon decides on its pricing structure itself – a move that publishers haven't always agreed with.

Currently, users are able to access up to around 20% of book content through Google anyway, but then currently follow links to online retailers such as Amazon to buy the full book. The idea is that Google's own e-book would replace this link, and customers would buy it directy through the search engine instead.

Once bought, users would be able to view the book online whenever needed, and when offline, it would be viewable as a cached version through their browser instead.

Although Google has admitted at BookExpo in the US that it wasn't entirely sure how the technology would work, Tom Turvey, director of strategic partnerships at Google, seemed positive, stating: "This time we mean it."

We'll keep you updated on all the news about this – be sure to let us know what you think about the e-book revolution below.