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Google Editions, Google's e-book store, to launch before 2011

Google's e-book retail operation, Google Editions, may be in business by the end of the year. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that even though Google missed its target of a summer 2010 launch, recent deals with publishers and independent booksellers mean the service will be ready for action in the US by the end of the year and internationally in Q1 of 2011.

Google Editions is a potential Amazon-killer, focusing on a read-anywhere, Web-based e-book model. Rather than targeting specific e-reader devices, like Amazon's Kindle or the Apple iPad, Google aims to make its books readable in any browser. Google Editions will also let individuals set up Google-powered e-book recommendations on their own sites and share the commissions with Google (which sounds a lot like Amazon's affiliate program).

More than 200 independent booksellers are reportedly on board with Google Editions, too. It's good news for brick-and-mortar bookshops, who are mostly missing out on the e-book boom. Although Google takes a cut, at least smaller retailers will have an easy way to deliver digital books to their customers.

Tags: books, e-books, google, google editions, GoogleEditions