Thursday, February 07, 2008

Book Scans and Search Engines

I'm of the opinion that putting samples of my works out on the Internet is a net gain.  Of course, there are gotcha's.

Google Books is the biggest known instance of a search engine company scanning books and putting parts of them out for people to sample, plus whole books in some cases.  But there are others.  Amazon has the option of putting scan samples of your books.  Today I ran across another.  Books.live.com from Microsoft.  

My first title, Emperor Dad (buy it now) is on Amazon's Search Inside pages because I uploaded them the cover and interior instead of a scan.  

I printed Emperor Dad through Lulu, but I'm the publisher, using Lulu as printer and distributer.  When Lulu offered to submit the book to Google Books, I agreed, since it cost nothing.  Unfortunately, a couple of months later, I discovered that it had finally appeared, but the sidebar information showed flagged Lulu as the publisher.  Since I'm trying to do my best to let people know about Wire Rim Books, I contacted Google Books and asked that the publisher meta data be corrected.  After a few days and checking with Lulu, it has finally vanished from Google Books.  On my todo list is to re-submit the book with the correct publisher info.

So, with this history, I began searching the books.live.com site for how to submit a book to their service.  Since they flagged it, I checked the contract they required.  Sign a contract with Microsoft?  Hmm.  I've heard far too many horror stories about that.  I read it carefully.  One sentence killed it for me.  "You agree not to make any public announcement about this agreement without Microsoft’s prior written consent."

I can't blog about the contract?  The other services didn't even have a contract that I could see.  So the way that I see it, I need to get all my blogging out of my system before I consider signing up for their service.  That may take awhile.

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