Google is once-again monetizing one of their previously free services:

Google Unveils New e-Book Service
Saturday , October 17, 2009

Google is launching a new service for booksellers next year called Google Editions, which will let readers buy books and read them anywhere on gadgets ranging from cell phones to possibly e-book devices. It's the first foray into charging for books for the Californian company, which began its Google Books program in 2004.

Tom Turvey, head of Google Book Search's publisher partnership program, said the price per book would be set by their publishers and would start with between 400,000 to 600,000 books next year.

"It will be a browser-based access," Turvey said Thursday at the 61st Frankfurt Book Fair. "The way the e-book market will evolve is by accessing the book from anywhere, from an access point of view and also from a geographical point of view."

Google will collect 55 percent of the profits, Turvey said, giving a "vast majority" of that to retailers, and the rest will go to the publisher.

"Google Editions allows retail partners to sell their books, especially those who haven't invested in a digital platform," he said. "We expect the majority (of customers) will go to retail partners not to Google. We are a wholesaler, a book distributor."

He added that Google Editions will be the first time the company will try to monetize their books project. The transactions must be simple he said, and one possibility will be using the already existing transaction platform Google Checkout.