Google declares they have "the largest ebooks collection in the world with more than 3 million titles," including "hundreds of thousands of books for sale from publishers" as well as "millions" of public domain titles, with the latter provided for free. People familiar with the catalog estimate the copyrighted works at between 300,000 and 400,000 titles, though Google is not providing a specific number.
While the reviews will come later, in its scope, scale and ambition the program clearly puts Google in contention as a major ebooks player here in the US and shortly in major markets around the world. Google executive Tom Turvey says they are "hoping to capture the full breadth of the book business" with a catalog that incorporates trade books as well as STM, scholarly and professional works. The starting collection also reflects "international diversity," with "multiple languages represented." They are offering both reflowable EPUB files, as well image-based files (when provided by publishers) with a toggle that will show such books--including color titles--"as they exist in print." Turvey underscores, as publishing people will appreciate, that "it's actually meaningful to see how the book was intended to be laid out."
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