Nov 14, 2011

The Google Ebook Beachhead a couple of weeks in…

D-day.13As mentioned in an earlier post Google eBooks has landed in Australia.  So far I think it’s a positive move.  While it’s another Megacorp at least having it and Amazon means there’s some semblance of competition in the eBook market place.

It’s also good for local book sellers giving them a platform that can be easily integrated into their existing online stores.

I note that book bloggers can also get in on the affiliate action in much the same way that they can with Amazon Associates1, though at this stage Amazon’s integration for bloggers kicks seven shades shinola out of Google’s.

Let’s take a closer look

Dymocks and Booktopia look to be the only two local stores that are up and running with their integration with QBD to follow.  Personally I find Booktopia2 to have the best integration.

There are some oddities though – I would have though all being tied to the same platform, that Dymocks, Booktopia and Google Books Australia would be standard in their pricing across the board and that all books would be available.

That’s not the case.

For Example

Blood Countess by Tara Moss

Dymocks – Available as eBook for $17.99( $8 more than the Paperback)

Google eBooks – N/A

Booktopia – N/A

Business of Death by Trent Jamieson

Dymocks – N/A

Google eBooks – $12.99

Booktopia – $12.99

Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Dymocks – N/A

Google eBooks – $9.99

Booktopia – $16.99

I note positively and with some surprise though that quite a few Australian Speculative fiction authors can be found.

Price and Service Matter 

So my thinking is that its all well and good to have a platform to sell ebooks, but your pricing has to be competitive, and you have to have the stock.  I don’t really want to have to look at five online sites to find the cheapest option.  I want to develop a store loyalty, a trusted online portal where I get service and value for money. Where navigation is child’s play.

That’s all that really matters in this game, service and price.  The argument that Amazon is a closed system (locks your books in) is also becoming redundant with the arrival of cheap tablets that can handle both formats through apps. 

When my Sony started playing up last month I prevaricated over buying a kindle and in the end opted to wait to see what the new Cumulus(el cheapo tablet) had to offer

As it stands

So while Google is establishing a beach head, I think Amazon holds the high ground at this stage.

1.  I am in two minds about using affiliate links, the most money I have made over a 5 year period was $20.

2. This stands to reason as there are probably the best online bookstore in Australia, and I think really understand the playing field.

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