By Pat Browning
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
-- Sergey Brin, co-founder & president of technology at Google.
My first look at Google Books blew my wig off. There are
thousands of books displayed -- l,053 alone in the
Fiction/Mystery and Detective/General category. You can
search by title or author.
When I searched by "Pat Browning" my book cover for
ABSINTHE OF MALICE came up. I clicked on it and got
a full-size cover, plus a summary and the first 49 pages
of the book. There were links to Amazon, etc. for more
information and purchase.
I looked up books by friends and other authors. Some
listings had very little information. Others had reviews
and interviews. Apparently a listing depends on
information furnished by the author or publisher.
As far as I can determine, it costs nothing to be included
in Google Books, and it's a great way to promote your
writing online. The web site is fascinating, well worth any
time you can spare to explore. Go to www.books.google.com.
For a bare bones overview of the program, here are a few
snippets of information from the web site:
Three years ago, the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and a handful of authors and publishers filed a class action lawsuit against Google Book Search … Today we're delighted to announce that we've settled that lawsuit and will be working closely with these industry partners to bring even more of the world's books online.
We've partnered with renowned libraries around the world to include their collections in Book Search. For Library Project books that are still in copyright, our results are like a card catalog; we show you info about the book and, generally, a few snippets of text showing your search term in context … For Library Project books that are out of copyright, however, you can read and download the entire book
This agreement helps define how our users may access different categories of books on Google Book Search.
In-copyright and in-print books
In-print books are books that publishers are still actively selling, the ones you see at most bookstores. This agreement expands the online marketplace for in-print books by letting authors and publishers turn on the "preview" and "purchase" models that make their titles more easily available through Book Search.
In-copyright but out-of-print books
Out-of-print books aren’t actively being published or sold, so the only way to procure one is to track it down in a library or used bookstore. When this agreement is approved, every out-of-print book that we digitize will become available online for preview and purchase, unless its author or publisher chooses to "turn off" that title. We believe it will be a tremendous boon to the publishing industry to enable authors and publishers to earn money from volumes they might have thought were gone forever from the marketplace.
This agreement doesn't affect how we display out-of-copyright books; we will continue to allow Book Search users to read, download and print these titles, just as we do today.