Google book search pumping up book sales

As I prognosticated a couple of months ago, Google Book Search is actually increasing publisher’s sales instead of aiding and abetting piracy, as most publishers assumed it would.

The problems with books that aren’t selling isn’t property rights, it’s obscurity. Google Book Search is a means out of that obscurity and a way to digitally filter the long tail of analog printed material.

Google has been enlisting publishers to voluntarily submit their books so that Web searchers can more easily find titles related to their interests, but some fear the project could lead to piracy or exploitation of their copyrighted content.

“Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers,” said Colleen Scollans, the director of online sales for Oxford University Press.

She declined to provide specific figures, but said that sales growth has been “significant.” Scollans estimated that 1 million customers have viewed 12,000 Oxford titles using the Google program.

Why this is not immediately obvious and apparent to dead tree publishers, I haven’t got a clue. Perhaps it’s because they still think of people who take money out of their wallets and put it into publishers’ as “consumers.” Whenever I see “consumer,” I think “misspelling of customer.”

But maybe that’s just one of my peccadilloes.

[tags] books, search, publishers, john koetsier[/tags] Credit: saw this first on Slashdot.