It's taken a while, but the Google eBookstore launched yesterday morning. Apparently, you can buy ebooks there to be read by various means, including Android, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Sony and Nook e-readers, as well as the Web. (Notice one e-reader -- Kindle -- is conspicuously absent.)
The ebooks are stored on what is referred to as a "cloud-based Google bookshelf." That sounds weird and spacy. But I think it probably refers to the technology that makes partnerships with independent booksellers possible. This amounts to (long-awaited) happy news for indie booksellers, who've been losing ground financially to the big guys.
So, awesome sauce. This puts indie bookstores on a more level playing field with Amazon and BN.com, ebook-wise.
However, you won't find any indie authors' titles in this new ebookstore, because (according to this article) "Google says it has deals to sell books from almost 4,000 publishers, including all the major houses." It seems safe to say this doesn't include any self-published authors whose work is available in ebook format. Plus the article doesn't mention a digital text platform for publishing ebooks like the ones provided by Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Quick survey: What do you think of this? Do you think you'll be more inclined to buy ebooks from an indie bookstore now? Or will you probably continue to look to Amazon or BN.com (while it lasts) for your ebook purchases? Not to mention Smashwords.
ADDENDUM: Here's a partial list of indie bookstores selling Google ebooks.