Thoughts & Opinions

Google Books is one of the easiest and best online marketing vehicles.

Paul Manning, Vice President, Book Sales for Springer

A 1999 Blackwell’s title, Metaphysics: An Anthology, has had 2,583 page views and 597 “buy this book” click-throughs since it became part of the program. Without any other marketing, the title has had “its best year in the U.S. since publication…” The high rate of “buy this book” clicks is translating into sales for our deep backlist.

Edward Crutchley, Book Sales Director, Blackwell Publishing

Google Books is a key to our overall Internet strategy of reaching new markets with our books in an effective and efficient way. We have seen overall traffic to our site increase, backlist sales rise, and we’ve acquired nearly 4,000 new direct book customers for free since the program launched.

Evan Schnittman, VP, Rights & Bus Dev, Oxford University Press

Books featured in the Partner Program show a 15.3% (customer) “conversion rate,” which means that web surfers who clicked on a Simon and Schuster book in Google Books either bought a book or went to the Simon and Schuster web site and, for example, subscribed to a newsletter. Conversion rates for other search engines languish around 1-3%.

Kate Tentler, Senior Vice President of Digital Media, Simon & Schuster

You are providing an invaluable service to history researchers like me, for which I wish to express my gratitude. My literary research pertains to poverty in Naples, Italy during the 18th and 19th Centuriesand its medical consequences. I look forward to more items, and would like you to consider your digitizing William J. A. Stamer's "Dolce Napoli", 1878. Again, thank you

David C. Schechter, MD, FACS

Other comments: Vocabulary and Handbook of the Chinese Language by Doolitle vol. 1. Pages 9-10 missing. Also -> I have obtained a 1915 copy of the Tsi Yuen Chinese language encyclopedia - Chinese - English. It is in 4 volumes of about 250 pages each. Would Google be interested in scanning this to make it available to everyone? I live in Sarasota, Florida. I am still searching for downloadable copies of "Golden Mirror of Medicine" (chinese medical encyclopedia of many volumes, English translation in 1880's, and the Kanghi Chinese dictionary - another Chinese Dictionary which I have been unable to find anywhere. I spend many hours of research in google and you have provided a resource of enormous value to everyone. Keep up the good work and keep scannning books. It would have been IMPOSSIBLE for me to find all the books in libraries that I have been able to view, for the first time, thanks to your search engine.


My words can not do justice to the value Google is bringing to our nation by providing the Google Books. You not only are helping us find important passages, your are helping to preserve them. Many of the works I have studied through your service are over one hundred years old. I have found that it is almost impossible to handle books this old without causing some damage. With your help I have ben able to leave most of these delicate volumes on the shelves. Finally, please know that the book I am personally writing on liberty in America would have been far more difficult, if not impossible, without your text searching.

David Wheeler

Book Search is a godsend for genealogists, since we love nothing better than to spend hours paging through original source documents, looking for snippets of lore about our ancestors. Now we can read wills, church records, land transactions, court cases, travellers' diaries and more, in the comfort of our own homes instead of in dusty library stacks. Now if you would just put up the Documents Relating to the Colonial History of New York, and more county histories, and Quaker records, and ..... We always want more. Can you find a way to start on unpublished records buried in county courthouses? Now that would be a miracle indeed.

Sue Long

I just wanted to drop a note to the Google Book Project, and I'll drop another to the publisher, that 3 different people purchased the book "The Authentic Tudor & Stuart Dolls' House" because I found it on Google books while searching for a quote from another book about 'garderobes'! I was fascinated by the text and images here, and immediately a) ordered a copy for myself and b) mentioned it on my blog-- and at least 2 of my readers looked at the book online, and went on to order it right away. Google Books is working for me.


When The Gulf War Chronicles first appeared in Google Books, its sales ranking on the Barnes & Noble index jumped by 85 percent and stayed there.

Read more about how Google Books helped author Richard Lowry gain visibility and sales.

Richard Lowry, Author

Google Books has opened the possibility of making every book in every language available to every person who has access to a computer. A fantastic prospect...

Marvin Kalb, author of "The Last Ambassador" and "The Nixon Memo: Political Respectability, Russia, and the Press" among others, in his acceptance speech for the Fourth Estate Award.

What the author's goal must be, above all, is awareness of his work. Without awareness his book is merely a castoff artifact, forever exiled, beyond the reach of the reader, his authorial voice condemned to silence and all potential earning power gone.


Warren Adler, Author, 'The War of the Roses' and more

As a writer, my biggest worry is that no one ever happens upon my books unless they go to a bookstore – used to be that writers could rely on grocery stores and drugstores and so on, but no more. The only readers who discover books are those that seek them out. We've been robbed of our serendipity. Thank you, thank you, thank you Google, for providing a way to put books back into the daily round of average people. When books are visible in search-results, they get an equal footing with web pages and other new media. If we have hope as authors in the digital age, it's in projects like Google Books.

Cory Doctorow, Author, 'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom' and more

As a longtime dues-paying member of the Authors Guild, I'm party to a lawsuit against Google over its new book-search service called Google Books. As an author of two books, though, I'm not sure I want to be suing Google. Every writer wants his or her work to be read. But to be read, a work needs to be found. Digital search is fast becoming the de facto way to be found...Google Books aims to do for books what Google has done for the Web...Without some digital equivalent to the concept of a library, a lot of great writing could be lost to the ages. And no one – readers, authors, publishers, Google and its competitors – would benefit from that.


Paul Andrews, Author, 'How the Web Was Won' and more

Speaking as the author of a long-forgotten, but still copyrighted, book that would likely be included in the Google [Book Search] project, I cannot imagine a reason why my publisher would turn down this form of free advertising...[Google's] project has the potential to revolutionise the way that we search for information online. Google may make money doing that but authors and publishers will almost certainly make money too. That sounds like the classic win-win bargain that underlies American capitalism and American innovation.


Patti Weldmeir, Author, Anatomy of a Miracle: The End of Apartheid and the Birth of the New South Africa

Lack of exposure is the primary reason that a book like mine would fail in the marketplace. I spend most of my day trying to get attention for my book. Not for the money, but because I believe that it is well written and funny. Very few authors will become rich writing books. We do it because we have something to say...No one has been able to explain to me how I would suffer from people being able to search for phrases and read excerpts of my book online…Someone asked me recently, 'Meghann, how can you say you don't mind people reading parts of your book for free? What if someone xeroxed your book and was handing it out for free on street corners?' I replied, 'Well, it seems to be working for Jesus.'


Meghann Marco, Author, 'Field Guide to the Apocalypse'

Google has succeeded because, on the whole, it has developed excellent products; it’s folly to judge the company’s behavior on moral grounds. Its shareholders certainly don’t. Nor can publishers and authors, who are struggling for a way to survive in a new age, portray their conflict with the company as one between good and evil. The dual status of several leading publishers as both partner and adversary to Google underscores their desperate need to hedge their bets in a digital world that they have yet to master.

Mountain View-based Google started digitizing books three years ago with the help of five partners, most of them universities. Scholars and students say the monumental project is starting to pay off for them.;=5905656 (for the printed story)

The rush to digitize the written record is one of a number of critical moments in the long saga of our drive to accumulate, store, and retrieve information efficiently. It will result not in the infotopia that the prophets conjure up but in one in a long series of new information ecologies, all of them challenging, in which readers, writers, and producers of text have learned to survive.

This and other digitization endeavors will preserve and perpetuate the ideas of thousands of authors by transferring them to today's technology.