Google Book Search Adds Embeddable Previews

September 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 am

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Google Book Search today announced that they have added embeddable previews. The previews include a picture of a cover and a few pages of the book.

"We’re launching a set of free tools that allow retailers, publishers, and anyone with a web site to embed books from the Google Book Search index. We are also providing new ways for these sites to display full-text search results from Book Search, and even integrate with social features such as ratings, reviews, and readers’ book collections. By providing tools that help sites connect readers with books in new and interesting ways, we hope publishers and authors will find even wider audiences for their works." [Google Book Search Blog]

The new Previews feature of the Google Book Search will provide audiences a chance to browse the book online as they would if they were in a book store. Within the book preview, according to Google, users are allowed to zoom in and out of the page and view up to 20% of the book’s contents. However, exactly how much of the book’s contents available for preview is up to the publisher or retailer.

Google has partnered with a couple of book sellers online and offline. The Previews feature is now available around the world from Books-A-Million to Blackwell Bookshop and The Book Depository in the UK, A1Books in India, Librería Norma in Colombia, Van Stockum in the Netherlands, and Livraria Cultura in Brazil.

Moreover, Google has also partnered with Libraries across the US to integrate Google Book Search as well as the previews feature. The University of California online catalog is already in Google’s index as well as the University of Texas. Both catalogs along with other local and institutional libraries now have the Google Book Search Previews feature.

Finally, Google, as always, opened up the API’s to the Book Search and the Previews. This allows developers to utilize, customize and improve the features of the product according to their specific needs.