Publisher Realizes Google Books Isn't Evil, But Quite Beneficial

from the good-for-them dept

From the beginning, we've been confused why book publishers were so against Google's Book search. When you realize that it's really a giant (and much, much, much better) card catalog that helps people find and discover more books, it's only a short leap to realize that it should help publishers more than hurt them. And, indeed, a few empirical studies have found that embracing Google Books has helped sales. But, for many publishers this has, apparently, been tough to understand. Thankfully, it looks like some are coming around. Gerd Leonhard points us to a blog post by the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael Hyatt, where he explains why authors, agents, and publishers should embrace Google Book search.

It was based on someone from Google visiting the company and explaining Google Books. While it's a little depressing that publishers have to wait for a person from Google to show up in person to explain what's been discussed at length for years by Google and many, many others, it's great to see that it worked in this case. Hyatt admits that he went into the meeting quite skeptical, but came out convinced. He notes that the two reasons given by publishers and authors against Google Books (people can just read the books online instead of buy them, or they can print them out) are simply not true. From the meeting he realized four key points (all of which Google made clear when all this launched, but many have simply ignored the facts):
  1. Google Book Search creates greater book awareness.
  2. The biggest problem authors face today is obscurity not piracy.
  3. Most people have no desire to read a book on their computer.
  4. Google only allows users to preview 20 percent of a book’s content.
Hyatt concludes with a plea to others to embrace Google Book search, noting that by embracing it, the publishing industry will realize that their content becomes "more relevant than ever." Kudos to Hyatt for changing his mind and explaining his reasons.
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Filed Under: books, google books, publishers
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    RPM, 7 Apr 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: Print them out?!?

    Not necessarily....I know people who have printed out books to read and reference them when they are out of Internet range. If it was just fiction or novels you are probably right, but mechanical manuals and such are harder to use if they are not accessible in the field.

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