Book sales get a lift from Google scan plan

Anonymous Patron writes News : Publishers are starting to report an uptick in sales from Google Inc.’s online program that lets readers peek inside books, two years after the launch of its controversial plan to digitally scan everything in print.

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.

Google does not release data on how many people are using the service, how many books have been scanned or how many searchers have clicked through to buy books.

Book search results from Google provide short page snippets and links to buy the books from online retailers or directly from publishers.”