Google Books driving surfers to booksellers
Will Head, Information World Review – September 5, 2006
"Google's controversial Book Search is driving traffic to booksellers, new figures show. According to web monitoring firm Hitwise, the top destination for surfers visiting Google's UK Book Search was Amazon UK, accounting for 8.3% of visits. Book sites accounted for 15.93% of all sites visited from the Google Books page."
Google does Book Reading a Favor
James Harding, The Times – August 31, 2006
"Google may have just done for book-reading what e-mail has done for letter-writing. Yesterday the internet search engine started making classic, out-of-copyright books available to download and print free. The service makes available to everyone the dusty pages of old tomes that once were reserved only for those with privileged access to the likes of the Bodleian library in Oxford and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Google likes to boast that its mission is to organise the world's information, but it is doing something better than that: it is is democratising it...Google's service will be a boon to researchers and students. It will enable people to browse bits of books and, it must be hoped, cultivate more interest in reading. For the publishing industry, it will ultimately foster demand. And, in the process, it will reinforce one of the more extraordinary features of the "lean forward" technology that is the internet, namely that it is generally not dumbing us down but lifting us up."
Google's Goal: A Worldwide Web of Books
Leslie Walker, The Washington Post – May 18, 2006
"As [Vinton] Cerf talked about his personal book collection and the limitations of having knowledge fixed on paper, he got me thinking about how reading will be transformed when static libraries join the more dynamic world of cross-referenced knowledge on the Web. "Think for a moment about the dead-tree problem," he said. "When you stand in your own personal library looking for something and you realize that A, you can't remember which book it was in, and B, there's no way you can go through manually looking at all the pages, then you think, 'God, I wish all this stuff was online.'" That's the stated goal of Google's library project, to create a massive electronic card catalog that will help people find information in published books, much as Google already does with Web pages. Cerf thinks publishers fail to appreciate that Google probably will help them sell more books by making them searchable. Helping people locate a book and know what's in it, he said, are key steps toward getting them to buy it. Listening to him, I couldn't help thinking how inevitable it is that library books will move online and come alive with hyperlinks and annotations, the way the Web already is. And then everyone, not just the Vinton Cerfs of the world, will have access to vast personal libraries from the comforts of home."
To scan or not to scan?
Guardian – March 8, 2006
"There are already signs in America that Google Books is leading to a strong rise in demand for out-of-print books. I would be amazed if the same did not happen to books in copyright."
Publishers discuss Google Books Project at LBF
The Book Standard – March 7, 2006
"Publishers involved in Google Books are reporting increased backlist sales and significant marketing opportunities. 'The high rate of 'buy this book' clicks is translating into small sales for our deep backlist,' said [Blackwell's] book sales director Ed Crutchley. A 1999 Blackwell's title, Metaphysics: An Anthology, has had 2,583 page views and 597 'buy this book' click-throughs since it became part of the program. Without any other marketing, the title has had 'its best year in the U.S. since publication.'"
U Mich Pres to AAP: Google is Good
Rachel Deahl, Publishers Weekly – February 8, 2006
"Calling Google's project a 'legal, ethical and noble endeavor that will transform our society,' [University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman] said one of the most pressing issues is that of conservation and restoration. Noting that, as a country, 'we are at risk of losing millions and millions of items that constitute our heritage and our culture,' Coleman said Google's plans will help meet the very dire and immediate need to both preserve and disseminate scholarly and historical texts."
Watch Mary Sue Coleman's speech on Google Video.
Critics Should Grasp Google Projects Before Blasting Them
Kevin Maney, USA Today – November 8, 2005
"The idea that Google [Book Search] or Google Library threatens book sales doesn't ring true...This is a clever technological middle ground between the utopia of free access to the world's best libraries and the hard fact that authors must be paid or they'll stop writing books...By exposing books this way, Google will most likely help publishers and authors make more money from their work."
Google Library is Great for the World (fee access)
The Wall Street Journal – October 26, 2005
"Imagine, for instance, that you want to find out everything ever written about your great-great granduncle, who fought in the Civil War. If he is mentioned in an older book not covered by copyright, Google provides instant access to the entire book. If he is mentioned in a book still covered by copyright, Google provides what Mr. Brin calls a 'snippet' that includes the mention, and then offers links to publishers, booksellers, used bookstores or libraries that can provide the full book. That's not only good for the world; it is also good for most publishers and authors. It is unlikely to cause anyone not to buy a book they were otherwise planning to buy. And it could lead many to buy books they never knew existed."
Search and Rescue
Tim O'Reilly, The New York Times – September 28, 2005
"Google promises an alternative to the obscurity imposed on most books. It makes that great corpus of less-than-bestsellers accessible to all. By pointing to a huge body of [Book Search] works online, Google will offer a way to promote books that publishers have thrown away, creating an opportunity for readers to track them down and buy them...there's a great likelihood that [Google's] Library Project will create new markets for forgotten content."
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