OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Here are two massive developments from Google this week that you need to know about. From looking at these together, it seems clear that Google search will bias books on the Google publishing platform.
Google Launches Editions Digital Publishing
Google Editions ebook store now has a start date of June/July this year. This article from the Wall Street Journal suggests that they will allow any retailers to add books to the store and they will be highlighted on their specific Books search page. Any device will be able to read them as long as the manufacturer allows it. So people can search with Google, find books and immediately buy them.
Google Search has split books out separately
This week, Google changed their search to split out different categories and Books is now a separate way to search. Clearly, Google controls search and once they have a bookselling business they will show books that are in their program, not others.
The first image to the left is a search for my name on Google.com which returns my blog, twitter etc. But there is now a split on the left hand side bar which means separate sub-searches can be done.
Click Books and only one of my books is displayed, “How to Enjoy Your Job”. I only have this one book on Google Books so far. The others are on Amazon.com, my website and other places but not Google Books, and as you can see, they are not displayed at all against my name. Interesting!
Actions for you in order to take advantage of this
- Understand key word search as it relates to your book and your brand. Here is an article to start you off from the Book Designer, and more info to come for fiction authors as well.
- Set your self-published or backlist books up on Google Books if you haven't already. Here is a page of information on it. They show up in Google Book search with links to buy at other places but presumably will be sold direct from Google once Editions is available. If you have a publisher, check with them how your book will be integrated with Google Editions.
Consider the very near future. The biggest search engine in the world returns your book based on keyword search terms and people can buy within that page immediately, on any device. Brilliant! This is yet another way for you to reach an audience with your work, and make it pay. Exciting times indeed!
Image: Flickr CC aahyeah