Publishers Scoff At Online Book Search

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In one of its most ambitious projects ever, Google has set a goal to digitize all book content that is public domain, and also snippets from other copyrighted words in order to provide users with the most comprehensive book search function ever conceived.

Several prominent libraries have already signed up to be a part of the Google Book Project, but the online search giant’s ambitions have some publishers turning up their nose in disapproval.

Both Random House and HarperCollins have stepped out in defiance of the book search initiatives of Google and others by announcing plans to implement their own proprietary technology that will allow prospective book buyers to peruse snippets from titles currently distributed by the respective publishing houses.

I guess they aren’t big fans of free publicity.

More on this story from Techdirt:

The question, really, is why bother? All these publishers are creating limited, expensive, fragmented searches for books, when Google (and others such as Yahoo and Amazon) are more than willing to do the work for them, while bringing all the offerings together. There are very, very few people in this world who think about books in terms of who published them.

No one wants to know that they need to go to a certain place to search for a Random House book and another for a HarperCollins book. Instead, let the search engines do the work (and spend the money), and the search engines will bring in the people and help drive sales. Building separate, fragmented book searches hardly seems like a compelling or cost-effective plan.

I really couldn’t have said it any better myself. The whole move seems almost prideful in a way. Do Random House and HarperCollins really believe that can manage this whole thing better than Google, a company that has built its entire brand on the backbone of the prowess of its search technology?

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Publishers Scoff At Online Book Search
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