Google Book Search is a tool currently in beta that allows users to search the full text of scanned books in its digital database. The user can view a limited number of pages that contain the searched keyword within the book as well as other relevant information such as the publisher’s website and booksellers. Google allows free PDF downloads of public-domain works and other non-copyright material. Outside the US, however, they make sure that the content is appropriate under local laws. Currently, the service is growing rapidly with more than one million volumes in the digitized database.
“Inside Google Book Search” is a blog run by the team behind Google Books. Their posts range from major new features or bug fixes to answering frequently asked questions. One of the best things they enjoy about their work is hearing how imaginative and creative Google Books can be used. For example, they enjoyed stories from a graduate student studying 19th century British roads and from a blogger who scouts for descriptions of Victorian dresses and dressmaking last year. Recently, they heard from a medical doctor who finds great value in Google Books for medical education. His interview can be found in our website.
The Partner Program presents individual and major publishers opportunities to promote their books for free by making them searchable online. The main idea is to connect them with those most interested in buying their books in the most efficient and convenient manner. The uploaded content is guaranteed to be protected; users can only preview a limited number of pertinent pages. Publishers can also take advantage of advertising tools such as AdWords to run targeted ad campaigns to attract potential customers. The economic incentive to joining Google Books is significant. Links to bookstores and retailers in addition to the book content will allow users to go from “browsing to buying” directly, potentially driving up book sales. For example, Mr. Hal Hallstein from Wisdom Publications informs that traffic to the online bookstore has increased 74% since they adopted Google Book Search, AdWords and Analytics. There are also tools available to keep a track of customers’ preferences and stay in touch with them for future sales.