Google Bookstore – Now With Engineering

by Rich on November 1, 2011

Google’s launched its online bookstore. It’s a storefront inside Google Books, so much of it should be familiar to the three people who use Google Books.

Steve Jobs Details from Google BooksThe bookstore is clearly commercial, with new titles and prices which look roughly comparable to Amazon’s for electronic editions. What struck me was what Google included in the ebook descriptions (this taken from their listing for Steve Jobs). I’m glad to no what devices can handle their ebook file, but the explicit disclaiming of scanned pages is something new to me.

It’s a really nice piece of information. Too many ebooks are scanned from print and read terribly because of it. Print books are fallible on their own, and scanning/OCR inevitably introduces errors.

This is a nice mark of quality for the product from Google, presented in a way that someone who knows how ebooks work will understand. I have no idea if mainline ebook consumers will get the significance of non-scanned pages. My hunch is that it’s a key details which most people will miss. Had Google described it as “Clean copy” or “Print Quality” or something, it likely would have been more helpful and successful for them.

It’s a microcosm of what makes Google wonderful and sad at the same time.

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