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Old 10-09-2006, 10:55 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Google Book Search may not be bad for publishers after all

Controversy trails Google Book Search wherever it goes. Common sense would lead a person to believe that the project could only be good for the publishers. Alas some publishers like to see things differently. And despite all the recent lawsuits alleging copyright violation, Reuters has an interesting news piece telling us that at least for some publishers the search engine can actually work in their favor. Colleen Scollans of Oxford U Press has admitted during the Frankfurt Book Fair this week that "Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers," with a "significant" growth in sales.

Not sure whom to believe, but could it be that Google Book Search is good for one publisher and bad for the other?

[via /.]
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Old 10-09-2006, 11:16 AM   #2
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The article also mentions some other (smaller) publishers including Springer, Walter de Gruyter/Mouton-De Gruyter, Ospre who have reportedly increased their sales through Google.
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
...could it be that Google Book Search is good for one publisher and bad for the other?
Sure. People who buy Oxford U books have a need for some information, and they are out looking for a book to match their need. Anything that connects people searching to the book that meets their need is going to increase sales.

On the other hand, "bestseller" publishers are out there trying to whip up a frenzy for stuff they want to push, whether it is good or not. If people stop looking at ads for books and start just buying the stuff they are interested, that's not going to be so good for publishers of the literary equivalent of colored fizzy sugar water. (I don't know as it would actually be bad for them, unless perhaps some of their former customers actually start looking for good stuff to read, instead of taking whatever the publishers are pimping of late, but hey, that's my Monday morning cynicism.)

Actually, this is reminiscent of what's happening in the music industry. People who produce good music are doing fine with electronic delivery. It's the mindless fluff that people aren't bothering to pay for anymore. Or so I'm told, by people who follow the "mindless fluff music" market more than I do.

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