Google launches new book widgets

by Mathew on September 22, 2008

Google has announced new Google Book Search browsable widgets, as well as partnerships with retailers such as Books-A-Million and other booksellers that will see the “browse inside this book” feature added to their reviews and book pages, and also allow virtually anyone with a website to embed a Google book reader widget.

In addition to Books-A-Million, the company says that previews will be available soon at Borders and Buy.com, and that thousands of books will also be available for preview directly from the online library catalogues at both the University of Texas and the University of California. The new browsable widgets have also been incorporated into the websites of book publishers such as O’Reilly, Macmillan and Stanford University Press.

Of course, what the Google press release (or blog post) doesn’t mention is that millions of books aren’t available for preview through its Book Search widget because its book-scanning project continues to be the subject of multiple lawsuits and threats of legal action from book publishers, author groups and so on (Google’s response to those criticisms is here). And when it comes to non-Google book-browsing options, Amazon has its Ajax-powered online reader, while HarperCollins and Random House Publishing both have their own versions of a browsable book-search widgets.

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