Google has revealed that it plans to give publishers a way to sell eBooks by the end of the year.

Google said online digital versions of books or eBooks would be made available for purchase through its partner programme, which now allows publishers to submit books for company's search engine results, and will put the search engine in direct competition with Amazon, which sells eBooks that can be viewed on its Kindle eBook reader.

Google said it wants to build and support a "digital book ecosystem" to allow its partner publishers to make their books available for purchase from any web-enabled device, whether it is a PC, a smartphone, a netbook or a dedicated reading device.

"Eventually, we hope to extend this functionality to retailers who embed Google Previews on their website," Google said.

The search engine also said the move was part of a strategy to promote an open platform for reading and accessing books.