What the Heck is Google Print?

    March 24, 2005

Here’s another Google service with which many people are not familiar: Google Print. Huh? What is that?

From Google’s own About Google Print page:

“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information, but much of that information isn’t yet online. Google Print aims to get it there by putting book content where you can find it most easily – right in your Google search results.”

Google is ambitiously digitizing the world’s books and some articles, supplied by publishers, authors and university libraries (like Harvard, Stanford and Oxford). They are scanned full-text for searching and browsing. All books in the public domain are included in their entirely, while books still under copyright may only have the table of contents and excerpts.

Google Print finds pretty much any kind of book you can imagine: fiction, non-fiction, reference, scholarly, textbooks, children’s books, scientific, medical, professional, educational, and other books of all descriptions. With the addition of books from their library partners, their book selection will continue to increase, and you’ll also be able to find out of print, rare and public domain books.

Finding the Book or Article

Just key the exact name of the book into the Google search field. If Google sees that the search terms match a publication’s title that they have digitized, you’ll see the following in your search result:

View picture here.

To enter Google Print, simply click the link (click here to see what you’ll get) under “Book Results”. It brings you to an initial page of the book. In the case of Oliver Twist, it is the Table of Contents. For others it could be the first page of Chapter One, or another page.

There are different display options depending upon what type of publication it is. I’d like to show you some screen shots, but they are too large to put on this page. However, you can see three types, with descriptions, by going to the Google Print Screenshots page.

From a Google Print book page, you can:

Browse the book: If the publication is in the public domain, you can page through the entire thing. If under copyright and submitted by the publisher, you may only be able to browse a few pages at a time. However, you can search for a word that exists beyond those pages, bring up that page and then browse a few other pages near that page. If under copyright and submitted from a library, you will only be able to view the bibliographic information and a few short sentences of text around your search term.

Search for words within the publication: Key the search term and it will highlight it on the page. If you click More results from this book you will get a list of every reference to the word in the publication, from which you can click to go to the referenced page.

Find Reviews: Click About this book and then click the link to find the reviews.

Learn about the publisher: At the bottom of the page you’ll see a link to the publisher’s page.

Buy the book: Buy form a list of sites that sell the book.

Find it in a library: If the book is a library book, you can click a link to find a local library that has it.

What you cannot do is either print the pages or copy images from the pages. Some people don’t like this, but after all, Google is spending their money scanning everything so they should be able to make money back on getting people to purchase books through these pages instead of printing them.

For more information on how Google Print works, read their Google Print Help page.

Getting Involved in Google Print

If you are a publisher and would like to get your publication scanned into Google Print, you can read how on their Program for Publishers page. They will scan it for free.

If you’d like to read more about their mammoth Google Library Project, go to the Library Project page.

Mark Fleming is the founder of a new blog called Google Tutor & Advisor. Google Tutor & Advisor offers in-depth Tips, Techniques and Advice for Google Users.

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