Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Google's Book Search available in publisher sites

"Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time"
Edwin P. Whipple (American author and lecturer 1819-1886)

Google's Book Search available in publisher sites
For the first time, the Book Search engine will be available outside of google.com, and publishers can tailor searches so that only their own books will show up as results
By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service

Google is making its controversial Book Search engine available to publishers interested in putting it on their Web sites.

This is the first time Google's Book Search service has been available outside of its main site in the Google.com domain.

This co-branded search program benefits Google because the search engine will now be available more broadly. Meanwhile, publishers benefit by offering an additional search service to their Web site visitors.

Publishers can tailor the index of their search engine so that only books published by them show up in the query results, Google said Friday. As in the main Book Search site, these result pages give users the option to link to online shops that sell the listed books.

Interestingly, one of the publishers that put Book Search on its Web site is The McGraw-Hill Companies. Along with other major publishers, McGraw-Hill is suing Google for copyright infringement over Google's ongoing project to scan millions of copyright books without permission.

Although McGraw-Hill's position may seem at first contradictory, it stems from the fact that Google's Book Search service has two main pieces.

One focuses on securing formal partnerships with publishers, obtaining their permission to scan books and giving them control over how much of those books can be displayed by Google for free.

McGraw-Hill is one of about 10,000 publishers that participate in this partner program with Google that have collectively made available about 1 million titles for scanning so far, said Tom Turvey, director of Google Book Search partnerships. About 50 publishers have embedded Book Search in their sites already, and many more are in line to do so, Turvey said. McGraw-Hill didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Simultaneously, McGraw-Hill objects to the other portion of the Book Search operation, in which Google partners with major academic libraries to scan large portions of their collections. Those library scanning operations often involve copyrighted books, which Google is digitally copying without obtaining permission from publishers and authors.

U.S. Book Sales Increases Will Slow, Report Says
By Heather Burke
June 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. book sales will increase less than 4 percent annually during each of the next five years as the publishing industry competes with the Internet and other media, a study found.

Sales climbed 3.1 percent to $35.7 billion in 2006, according to the Book Industry Study Group Inc. Titles sold rose 0.5 percent to 3.1 billion, the New York-based trade group said in the 2007 edition of Book Industry Trends, released today.

Publishers increasingly vie for readers with the Internet, cable television and other media. U.S. book sales will be buoyed this year by Scholastic Corp.'s ``Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,'' the seventh and final book of the series, which comes out July 21. The novels have sold more than 325 million copies worldwide and made author J.K. Rowling a billionaire.

``Book sales are slowing down, although not dramatically,'' said Edward Atorino, a media analyst with Benchmark Co. in New York. ``Part of the slowdown will be from the lack of `Harry Potter' and competition from electronic communications.''

Book sales at publishers including Bertelsmann AG's Random House Inc., are forecast to climb 3.9 percent to $37.1 billion in 2007, the report said. The annual sales gain is projected to decline almost each year through 2011, when publishers may report a 2.7 percent increase in revenue.

Juvenile trade hardcover sales probably will jump 9 percent in 2007 to $1.83 billion, then dip 0.4 percent in 2008.

School Books

Workbooks and textbooks for elementary and high school students may post some of the biggest sales gains, climbing about 7 percent annually for the next three years. Sales of such books climbed 1 percent to $4.75 billion in 2006.

Educational sales may increase because more states plan to buy new textbooks in reading, math and other subjects through 2009, said Atorino.

The BISG study was compiled using financial data from publicly traded companies, analyst reports, industry group information, statistical data, government reports and book industry experts.

A May 22 report by the Association of American Publishers found sales fell 0.3 percent to $24.2 billion in 2006. The group uses Census data and sales figures from 81 publishers to compile its estimates.

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