Google started the new year with a new purchase of a small and relatively unknown company, eBook Technologies. The new purchase only fueled rumors of Google's plans to expand on the ebook market.
It is hard to imagine that Google (news, site) will turn into a publishing house or a major book reseller, but who knows -- maybe they do have plans for a more active presence on the lucrative ebook market and since Google recently launched their eBookstore, they seem to be serious about this market.
Google Is Not New to Publishing
Actually, Google is not new to books and publishing. Google Book Search has been around for years and even though it is hardly the core business for Google, it is a popular service. There has been a lot of turmoil and legal slaps because of copyright issues surrounding the scanned books on Google Book Search, but still the service didn't close.
Many of the books on Google Book Search are in the public domain, so the question about copyrights is irrelevant. These books have been scanned over the years and are now available in a digital form. In other words, this huge array of texts are ready to be sold as ebooks.
Now Google has the store (eBookstore) and they just need some backup in the form of an ebook reader for more platforms (i.e. tablets, smartphones, etc.) and they are ready to go. It seems as if this reader will come from the purchase of eBook Technologies.
eBook Technologies: How They Feel
When it was announced that Google bought eBook Technologies, the previously unknown company became a star. Many people visited the website in hopes to learn more about the company and its products, but a surprise was waiting for them. The only text on the site reads:
eBook Technologies, Inc. is excited to announce that we have been acquired by Google. Working together with Google will further our commitment to providing a first-class reading experience on emerging tablets, e-readers and other portable devices.
There is no information about the company or its products, which further sparked curiosity. However, in the digital age, keeping secrets is hard. Google cache contained an archive copy of the site, providing insight into what the company does. Briefly put, they offer ebook devices, ebook firmware and various content management solutions, including security for ebook content.
It is not clear what Google will preserve from the present portfolio of eBook Technologies, but it is a safe bet to say that they will keep (and probably enhance) most of the products. In any case, keep an eye on the ebook market -- there will be news from Google soon.