Google Book Search and publishers – status

I simply cannot understand why publishers are not embracing Google Book Search (and other services of a similar type) more readily. I can see the problems and the realistic fears: creating a monopolistic source for finding books, placing another company between you and the customer, uncertainty of Google’s long term goals and copyright. But the benefits from a more active involvement are also manifest: exposure and profile, increased sales, sales from the back catalogue of ignored and out of print titles and generally benefits the publisher. Engagement could also have yielded inclusion in future plans and at least some forewarning of what Google had in mind.

In any case a number of articles and posts have come up that give a good idea of where things stand for now. The Guardian has an article here, Jeff Jarvis comments here and Richard Charkin comments here.

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2 comments

  1. You are absolutely right. I use Google booksearch almost all the time now, and find that actually I end up buying books that I have used online which I might not do usually. It replaces that process in a bookshop where you flick through the book to see how useful it will actually be.

  2. Leonard,
    Thanks for dropping by! I really like the search feature, I know it seems crazy but I begin to wonder hwo I worked through a degree and masters without this ability. The hours of frustrated ISBN, Shelfmark and topic searches could have been happier hours spent finding relevant books or quickly skipping onto the next title! Oh Well!
    PS dropped by your site, do you draw the illustrations too?

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