LibraryThing using Google Book Search’s API

Eoin Purcell

On the one hand this is pretty sweet:

The official Google Blog and the Inside Book Search Blog just announced the new Google Book Search API, with LibraryThing as one of the first implementors. (The others are libraries; I’ll be posting about what they’ve done over on Thingology.)

In sum, LibraryThing now links to Google Books for book scans—full or partial—and book information.

Google Book Search links can be seen two places:

* In your catalog. Choose “edit styles” to add the column. The column reflects only the exact edition you have.
* On work pages. The “Buy, borrow, swap or view” box on the right now includes a Google Books section. Clicking on it opens up a “lightbox” showing all the editions LibraryThing can identify on Google Book Search.

But on the other:
This is a little worrying. Google are stepping into the flow of traffic and pulling it in with content. You cannot blame them, they have put the investment in, they have been far sighted and now they are in a position to exploit that. I’m just getting a little uncomfortable with their power in this area and what they might mean going forward.

As a consumer I’m going to enjoy the feature though, despite my reservations and the limitations that Tim highlights in the rest of his blog post! But there is some good stuff too Here:

LibraryThing and its members can also like to take credit for moving the API along in another way. Your help with the Google Book Search Search bookmarklet forced the issue of GBS data. The message to Google was clear: our members wanted to use GBS with LibraryThing, and if Google wouldn’t provide the information, members would get it themselves. After some to-and-fro with Google, we voluntarily disabled the service. But I think it moved the openness ball a few feet, and that’s something for members to be proud of.

Worried and thinking!

Grandad’s book is coming!!!*

So myself and Grandad has a wonderful chat on the phone the other evening. His Herself was chatting along in the background offering helpful hints and advice. I hope some of you are wondering how Grandad is doing with his book, what with Twenty’s book doing so well.
The answer is:

Damn Fine Stuff

But unlike me, ya’ll will just have to wait till February 2009 to read it! Sorry.

Posted in consultation with someone many of you will know

* In February 2009!

Frankly, this is just sad news for the Friday Project

Snowbooks had more of the story and then this in Publishing News:

HARPERCOLLINS AND RANDOM House were this week vying to acquire selected author and book assets of publishing house The Friday Project which is expected to go into liquidation at a creditors meeting on 31 March.
Panos Eliades, of insolvency firm Panos Eliades Franklin, told PN on Wednesday: “We have been negotiating with HarperCollins over which authors they want to take over, and today Random House have made contact and they are now also competing for certain authors. We are happy to dispose of the assets on a piecemeal basis, but we are not approaching any other publishers at this stage.”

This sounds so unpleasant for everyone, most unfortunate!