The eBook market, which already has many retailers and readers being offered by the likes of Amazon and Apple, is set to get a new, potentially gigantic player: Google. Starting this summer, Google Editions will offer the biggest single source of electronic books for download to a range of devices.
But unlike the stores of Amazon or Apple, Google's offerings will not be associated with any particular device. You can transfer Google Books to a whole range of devices, and Google will also provide additional retail channels for smaller bookstores.
Google Books has been a major effort by Google to digitize a huge volume of books that are in print as well as out of print. To date they have accumulated approximately 12 million books, far more than anyone else. The project has not been without controversy, however, with lawsuits claiming Google is violating copyright while aiming to hold a monopoly over electronic books.
The market for eBooks is currently worth about a quarter billion US dollars, but projections foresee that value quadrupling in the next several years.