Computer: Research Service
Book Content Search   (+8)  [vote for, against]
Search books' contents online

Book publishing online still has its worries for the publishing industry, but how about searching book contents?

The results should display the relevant part of the matching page(s), page numbers, and links to ordering the books online. Obvious service for Amazon et al., provided by, say, Northern Light.
-- syost, Sep 08 2000

Northern Light
NL allows special searches (access to the results is fee-based) that include a list of periodicals and books, but the list of books is specialized. [syost, Sep 08 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]

A reasonable facsimile of this idea. [egnor, Sep 08 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Finally baked http://pbokelly.blo...s-on-amazon-as.html
Google offers search to publishers [syost, Oct 13 2004]

Google Book Search
Baked. [dbmag9, Dec 14 2005]

Christopher Moore's two cents on the subject
( A slow-loading page, but a fun author ) [normzone, Dec 14 2005]

Unfortunately you don't, egnor, so I'll give it one + myself.
-- BigThor, Sep 12 2000

PeterSealy, you're right, there seems to be a copyright problem that'd need solving in a blanket way -- something that would allow this new to-be-legally-defined class of excerpts.

There would also need to be assurance that someone couldn't programmatically construct the full contents of a copyrighted work by executing queries and gathering the results.

Poetry presents a problem, because some poems are so short that presenting any context presents the whole thing (like Gwendolyn Brooks' "We Real Cool" -- just using the opportunity to name a fave:
-- syost, Sep 15 2000

I'm groovin with Mr. Yost's ideas. I tried to get some travel publishers to put up samples from travel books, along with GPS points of samples and non-samples. Points could be searchable, as well as content, but only samples could be viewed as a quality check on the publisher.

Publishers didn't go for e-content -- this was last August before a famous horror writer went digital. Customers, at least in US, don't seem to want most e-content either -- at least they don't want to pay for it. Disaggregated content in book publishing world is still a ways off I think. If anyone is having better luck, I'd love to hear about it.

Still thinking of other vehicles that could create customer pull for e-content, without getting into pirating type issues and fears.

Some bookstores are introducing print-on-demand systems.
-- nreilly, Oct 15 2000

I bet a publisher like O'Reilly who cater to a technical market would be more likely to be an "early adopter" for such a system than a publisher of general-interest books like travel guides.

In fact, O'Reilly already sells digitized, online versions of their books; I'm surprised they don't already offer search services.
-- egnor, May 19 2001

Bundle the e-content with the hardcover content. For example, when a customer orders a book, the customer can read the book on their computer before the actual book arrives. Of course, the customer should be able to buy the e-book by itself.
-- andrewm, Jul 24 2002

random, halfbakery