Google Books 'part of the eco-system'

<p>Google Book Search has books from more than 20,000 publishers available for search via its website and across third-party sites that feature its new preview facility, it has announced.</p><p>But Santiaga de la Mora, head of Google Book Search for Europe, was tight-lipped about a possible settlement of the long-running lawsuit between its parent and US publishers over its book-scanning programme. &ldquo;Nothing has changed,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Speaking at the Frankfurt Book Fair, de la Mora told The Bookseller that the digitisation initiative was now &ldquo;part of the eco-system&rdquo; of publishing, with the number of publishers having doubled since last year&rsquo;s fair, and more than 100 languages represented. </p><p>He suggested that the operation had led to incremental increases in sales for publishers. &ldquo;What it does is put books in front of people who did not necessarily know they were looking for information from a book: people who are not in the bookshop, who are not on the publisher&rsquo;s website, and yet who have an interest,&rdquo; he said. Google was helping publishers to find the right audience, he added.</p><p>De la Mora said the exposure of book content had been boosted by the introduction of &ldquo;universal&rdquo; search, whereby search results from books are included in Google&rsquo;s general search page. This facility had been launched in Europe, with the UK in the lead. The preview function allowed publishers and booksellers to find Google book search titles on their websites. &ldquo;That is good, because browsing leads to buying,&rdquo;&nbsp; said de la Mora.</p><p>He refused to comment on rumours that a deal had been struck in the US, saying that the litigation was still in the &ldquo;discovery&rdquo; stage. He was upbeat, however, that the initial resistance to scanning in copyrighted works had evaporated. </p><p>&ldquo;Publishers are saying, &lsquo;it is working for us&rsquo;; publishers have become advocates,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been saying it all along. If it is corroborated by the insiders then it&rsquo;s even better.&rdquo;</p>