the rundown on Google Print

I am feeling better so I am messing with Google Print. Andrea inquired whether, in addition to showing us places where we could buy these books, Google Print might use its comfy relationship with OCLC Worldcat to also show us where we could borrow these books. The reply she received was not encouraging. Tara has more info on Google Print from a discussion with a Google rep. Google does specifically say they are not a library in their FAQ.

Google Print is a book marketing program, as opposed to an online library, and as such your entire book will not be made available online unless you expressly permit it.

A few other things you might want to know about Google Print…

  • Publishers can join for free. Google serves their “relevant” ads next to publisher’s content & splits the ad revenue with the publisher. I was pleasantly surprised to see a book by McFarland [my publisher] available.
  • Google print currently only accepts — and dismantles — print copies of books and cannot currently accept pdfs or other digital formats. This will be a great bar trivia question a few years from now “which company destroys the most books? Google!”
  • Google claims that “pages displaying your content have print, cut, copy, and save functionality disabled in order to protect your content.” and yet that’s not strictly true [see figure 1 and figure 2] The page image actually displays as a background image in a weird inline stylesheet, but it’s just a jpg with a URL like any other image on the web. More explanation here.
  • Tara has a few more tricks up her sleeve. Can’t afford Library Journal? Read it via Google Print.
  • According to Jason Kottke’s non-scientific method, Google Print had about 8,000 titles on December 2003. This was back when you could search for the acronym ISBN in the URL, limit results to Google Print, and get a title list. There’s no longer a handy ISBN in the URL, you’ll notice his title links from that entry no longer work.
  • Once you’re looking at a book, searching for a word like “the” can give you a rough idea of how much of the book’s content is available
  • scary line in publishers terms: “Google may retain and use for its own purposes all information You provide”