Google's ebooks venture, Google Editions, appears poised to launch within the next month, and in theory, I like it. I've been begging anybody who would listen to please make my out-of-print books available, cheaply, in electronic editions, but for a midlist, non-genre writer, this is just not a doable thing. It appears that, if you own the rights to your work, you'll be able to sell copies through Google at whatever price you like.
One thing that's confusing me is this line: "To sell the Google Edition of a book, you must hold the electronic rights to that book, including all images and other book content." Does this mean that a writer needs to own the rights to, say, the cover? The layout? The design? Becuase I'm not sure that any of us do, at least those of us whose books have already been published and are now out of print. I do now hold the rights to my first three novels, but not, I'd imagine, the visual elements designed and executed by my former publishers.
Anyway, this will presumably all be clear next month. I find the whole thing unnerving, of course, and still doubt that Google will ever pay me anything, for any reason. (Where, by the way, is my Authors' Guild Settlement check, eh?) But if this is the way the wind is blowing, I suppose I will let myself be carried along with everybody else.