Times Colonist

Google launches digital bookstore in Canada

- MATT HARTLEY

TORONTO — Google Inc. is bringing its digital bookstore to Canada, in an effort to write the next chapter of the digital publishing evolution north of the border.

Google announced it was launching the Google ebookstore in Canada, which will enable Canadian book lovers to download digital books that can then be read on tablets, e-readers and PCS. The new online storefront for digital books went live Tuesday.

Google also plans to offer independen­t Canadian bookseller­s the opportunit­y to sell their books online and has partnered with several independen­t retailers to launch the project.

“Google believes Canadians should have access to the books they want, should be able to read books on the device they want, and should be able to buy books from the bookstore they want,” the company said in a press release.

Google’s entry into the Cana- dian marketplac­e will present a challenge to establishe­d e-publishing heavyweigh­ts, including Amazon.com and Toronto’s Kobo Inc. — which counts Indigo Books & Music as its primary shareholde­r.

At launch, the Google ebookstore in Canada will boast a library of “thousands” of digital books for sale, as well as more than two million public domain books, which will be offered for free.

Readers will be able to enjoy Google’s e-books on just about any device, including smartphone­s and tablets powered by the company’s Android operating system. However, the books will also be available on Apple Inc.’s ipad, as well as on e-readers from Kobo, Sony and Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

Google will offer books from all major Canadian publishing houses, including Penguin, Random House and Harper Collins. Google has also secured deals with House of Anansi, Dundurn, and Mcgill Queens University Press.

In the U.S., Google’s e-bookstore boasts more than a million titles.

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