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Google Book Search wants your e-books

© August 2009 Anthony Lawrence

Many web publishers and bloggers have e-books. These are either sold or given away free in exchange for an RSS subscription, or sometimes just given away as a sales tool to help sell something else. Sometimes people give away their books for no particular reason at all.

Most such books get little exposure outside of the website that promotes them, but that's all about to change. Google Books wants those e-books. It wants to index them and provide search options within their text.

You probably already know that Google wants to scan and index everything it possibly can, but you may not realize that helping Google with that task has benefits for you.

You need to sign up at the Google Books Partner Program and upload your PDF e-book files. There's a web form their that lets you fill in the base information Google wants, but that form requires that your books have ISBN numbers. If your books don't have ISBN numbers, you can use their Uploader program (I found it worked with Firefox but not with Safari, by the way) and Google will assign a unique identifier in place of the ISBN. You specify how much of your content can be searched (the default is 20% in a month per person). Of course Google disables cut and paste and printing, so you aren't giving away your intellectual property, but if you want to set that to 100% and provide a download link, you can.

You also provide a "Buy Link" that points to a page on your site where you sell or give away the book.


After Google scans and indexes your books, they become searchable and can appear in search result pages - both in book specific searches and general Google search. That of course gives you wider exposure, but if you are selling your books (or giving them away for a signup), your "Buy Link" will appear with the search results. If places like Amazon also sell your books, their links will appear also, but the fact that your link is there increases both your book exposure and your general website exposure. That's good for you, but it gets better.

Advertising cut

If someone chooses to view pages from your book, Google will be running Adsense ads in the results and you'll get a piece of the action. While that's not likely to be a major source of income, it is free money, and for some subjects it actually could be significant.

I wish they had tied this in with Adsense - I'd rather just have anything that comes from this just be an Adsense channel, but apparently they intend to handle this separately.


Google also gives you code for your website that lets your prospects search inside your book - of course with the same limits on percentage viewed, and with cut and paste and printing disabled. That improves your selling pages.

All in all, this seems like a no-brainer to me. I've submitted my three e-books and am waiting for Google's computers to finish processing them. I will report back with more information as I learn it.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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-> Google Book Search wants your ebook


Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Automating Your Mac

Digital Sharing Crash Course

Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Take Control of OS X Server

Take Control of Preview

More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Mon Aug 31 18:42:59 2009: 6829   TonyLawrence

It took less than two weeks for Google to index these.

I have NOT been able to use the book specific co-branding code - possibly its because I use Google's numbers, not ISBN's. But I can send people to the pages where they can do that, so it's OK for now.

Wed Sep 2 22:33:05 2009: 6839   TonyLawrence

Google Support said to use GGKEY instead of ISBN. That works.


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