Monday, September 22, 2008 at 9:00 AM
Today, we're taking a big step towards bringing more books, across more sites, to more people online.
We're launching a set of free tools that allow retailers, publishers, and anyone with a web site to embed books from the Google Book Search index. We are also providing new ways for these sites to display full-text search results from Book Search, and even integrate with social features such as ratings, reviews, and readers' book collections. By providing tools that help sites connect readers with books in new and interesting ways, we hope publishers and authors will find even wider audiences for their works.
What does this mean for readers? Well, since we've partnered with a number of booksellers to enable preview functionality for their sites, one way you may come across this feature is by simply shopping online for books. For example, suppose you've turned to the Books-A-Million site to look for a book on the history of your hometown (say, Mountain View, California). When you see a book that looks promising, you can now click on "Google Preview" to browse through the book just as you might in the physical store, without ever having to leave Books-A-Million's website.
As on the Book Search site itself, you can search within the book, zoom in and out on the page, and browse up to 20% of the book. And because Google Previews are supported by the same infrastructure as Google Book Search, publishers and authors gain access to a larger distribution platform without changing the amount of the book they display to any given individual.
This Google Preview feature is now live on retailer sites around the globe, from Books-A-Million to Blackwell Bookshop and The Book Depository in the UK, A1Books in India, Librería Norma in Colombia, Van Stockum in the Netherlands, and Livraria Cultura in Brazil. Over the coming weeks, this functionality will roll out to even more booksellers, including Borders.com, Buy.com, and Powell's Books.
Beyond these retailer partnerships, we've also worked with a wide array of sites and organizations to bring Book Search functionality to their users:
- Library catalogs. It is now possible to preview books—including a huge number of works in the public domain—right from the online catalogs of the University of California and the University of Texas, as well as through WorldCat.org, a service that lets you search across the collections of more than 10,000 local and institutional libraries worldwide.
- Publisher and author sites. The Arcadia Publishing web site has descriptions of its books about towns from Mountain View to Medford--and now, thanks to the Book Search integration, you can peek directly into these books as well. O'Reilly, Macmillan, Apress, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Stanford University Press have incorporated preview functionality into their sites, as well.
- Social book sites, which allow users to organize and share their reviews, ratings, and favorite books. You can now import your Book Search My Library collection straight into your aNobii account, or preview books within the weRead gadget for social networks. Be sure to also try out the exciting integrations by BookJetty, GoodReads, and BookRabbit.
Ultimately, we believe that these tools and partnerships further our quest to make books more discoverable on the Web, from your Google search results to your favorite bookstores, publisher and author websites, online library catalogues, and social networks.
Want to learn more about the many sites now offering Book Search functionality? Check out our Who's using it page.