Google Books • 30 September 2011 • The SnowBlog

Google Books

So, I'm still a little unclear on what Google Books actually is. It appears to be a couple of things: one, a repository of scanned, out-of-copyright books, all ready for you to read; the other, a catalogue of in-copyright books, with a certain amount of metadata, scanned samples of the contents (in some cases) and links to where you can buy each book. When we searched for Snowbooks' catalogue it was an interesting assortment which came up. Lots of duplicates and lots of our titles missing. One of our books included a promotional sticker on the cover image, so these are presumably scans rather than artwork gleaned from, say, Nielsen. To be honest, I haven't spent long enough staring at it all and reading the help files to work out actually what I'm looking at, but it still might be interesting for all you writers and publishers out there to see how much of your oeuvre Google Books has noticed. To see for yourself, go to their homepage (here's the link) and if you're a publisher, type in "inpublisher:snowbooks" (only, you know, put your company name in place of 'snowbooks'). If you're an author, type "inauthor:Robert Finn" (only, you know, put your name in instead of 'Robert Finn'). In both cases please note that there's no space after the colon. Then depress the enter key and Bob's your auntie's estranged ex. Just don't ask me what to do about it if you don't like what you see 'cos I haven't got that far yet. (Metadata fans also note the downloads of BiBTeX, EndNote and RefMan files for each title.) I'm not quite sure what all this has to do with modern publishers, but I did enjoy looking up and reading excerpts from several books published in the nineteenth century about tunnels under the Thames. It's an excellent resource... whatever it is.


The SnowBlog is one of the oldest publishing blogs, started in 2003, and it's been through various content management systems over the years. A 2005 techno-blunder meant we lost the early years, but the archives you're reading now go all the way back to 2005.

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