Publishers attending the Frankfurt Book Fair this week have gone on record thanking Google for its controversial Google Book Search program, which makes searachable indices of millions of books available online. They say that making their books visible to Internet users searching for answers converts these searchers into customers. They also say that Amazon's likewise controversial Look Inside program has been good for sales (duh — Amazon isn't interested in programs that reduce sales of books).
"Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers," said Colleen Scollans, the director of online sales for Oxford University Press…
"When we looked at the first six months of stats, we saw that 30 percent of Google Book Search clicks went directly to our site, while roughly 40 percent went to Amazon," said William Shepherd, Osprey's managing director.
"Our sales through the Web are steadily increasing in proportion to our total sales, and we're confident that Google Book Search will accelerate this growth."
Walter de Gruyter/Mouton-De Gruyter, a German publisher, said its encyclopaedia of fairy tales has been viewed 471 times since appearing in the program, with 44 percent of them clicking on the "buy this book" Google link.
One of its many scientific titles, "Principles of Visual Anthropology", has seen about one-quarter of the 1,206 views click on "buy this book".