Monday, May 15, 2006

Packed Some Books for Google

When this program was first announced, it was steeped in controversy. The Author’s Guild sued Google about it and publishers looked at it with a wary eye. Would it sell books or give away books? No publisher (or author) wants to give away books because it’s what we’re selling to the reader. Yet if putting your book in a searchable fashion sells more books, then it’s definitely worth doing.

Google-Book-SearchIn recent days, I’ve been learning more about this program.  While it’s six month’s old, check out this brief about the topic which actually first appeared in August 2005.  I’ll spare you the legal brief and you can read the straightforward conclusion, “The Google Print Library Project will make it easier than ever before for users to locate the wealth of information buried in books. By limiting the search results to a few sentences before and after the search term, the program will not diminish demand for books. To the contrary, it often will often increase demand for copyrighted works by helping users identify them. Publishers and authors should embrace the Print Library Project rather than reject it.”

If you read John Kremer’s marketing tips from last week you saw his Google video about halfway down the page where it says, “Google Book Search: It Helps Sell Books!” I would encourage you to watch the short two-minute video. Also sign up for John’s marketing tips which always contain useful  information.

I checked out the search tool and I like the way different books will appear when you search for different words—and these books appear with links to purchase the book. Like the Amazon.com Search Inside feature, Google doesn’t allow users to print the pages.  You will quickly tire of reading material on your computer screen and purchase the book. Also the search engine limits the number of pages you can read from a particular book. For me, it looked like there are some safeguards to the process—but also some huge exposure possibilities for authors and their books.

You have to apply and join Google’s program to get started in the process. It’s not just for publishers but authors can also join the program.  After you get accepted into the program, you receive specific instructions for sending your books to Google. Then Google scans the pages and adds the books to their search tool. This weekend, I registered 15 of my books and packed the actual books to send into the system. We’ll see how quickly they are added.  Inside the system, Google keeps up updated on the status of this process.

Some author may read this suggestion and say, “Oh, interesting.  I’ll let my publisher register and handle this process.” For the top authors in a publishing house, they may be right.   In this case, I think authors can help themselves and the exposure of their book, by taking proactive action.  Join the program. Register your book (no matter who published your book—even if you self-published it) and get your book into this system. Whether you’ve written fiction or nonfiction, it doesn’t matter. It’s another simple way to gain exposure for your book—and potential sales.

When I was checking out the search tool, one of the titles jumped out at me: The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing. It made sense to me because this book includes chapters on different aspects of nonfiction writing. It’s a perfect sort of product to give the reader a taste of the book then entice them to purchase the entire book. Whether it takes Google several weeks or several months to add my books, I have no idea.  One thing is certain—if they aren’t sent, they will never appear.

4 Comment:

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Wandering Writer Left a note...

Thanks for posting this, Terry. I found seven more books to either cite for the marketing section of my bp or possibly use for research for my own content. None of them came up on the online bookstore searches or a search of our library even thought I used the same search words.

Writers Wanderings

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Unknown Left a note...

Thanks, Terry. That's interesting. I had heard all the talk about this controversial subject awhile back but forgot about it. Your blogs the only place I pick up these helpful and off the path tidbits. I appreciate it!

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Darlene Schacht Left a note...

Thanks for the information. I've recently wondered what it's all about.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Cheryl Left a note...

Thanks Terry. I remember the furor Google stirred up, but then didn't really hear anymore about it. It'll be interesting to see how quickly your fifteen(!)books are added to the system.


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