Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 1:43 PM
OK, it's true. Google Book Search works the way we say it does. During our many discussions with publishers, we often cite a statistic from a Google/Jupiter Research Consumer Survey: 66% of people conduct research online before making a purchase offline. We also say Google Book Search helps people find and sample the right book at the right time and, through this discovery, helps the physical book circulate. I'm happy to provide a precise example of how this really works.
I got an email over the weekend from one of my college buddies (now a lawyer) who found himself using Google Book Search to get exactly the book he needed. Here is Mike's happy tale of Book Search discovery:
I was asked by a client to make a check list of every employment law issue that might arise in a merger situation. That's a huge question and I wasn't sure that I would hit every issue — especially the benefits issues since I don't often practice in employee benefits matters. I typed a search into Google ("employment law issues in mergers and acquisitions") and the first hit was a book reference to Employee Benefits in Mergers and Acquisitions by Ilene Ferenczy. The Google Book Search link gave me the table of contents and some other information — more than enough to tell me that this was a great book for my project.
Searching Google further, I was able to determine that the book was at a library in Chicago. I thought about purchasing the book but it sells for approximately $800. My local law library tried to arrange to borrow the book, but ended up buying it when it looked like the inter-library loan would be a problem.
All of this took less than twenty minutes of his highly billable time. Exciting news, indeed, for Google Book Search, the publisher, the library and, of course, Mike.