Monday, February 23, 2009

Google Books and Magazines

"When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." —John M. Richardson, Jr.

By Scoti Springfield Domeij

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    I talked with an editor at the Writing for the Soul writer's conference this weekend regarding Google Books' impact upon publishing. And Google Books and publishing have come to terms to resolve the lawsuit writing organizations filed against Google Books.

    Of course, publishers worry that publishing the content of books online could hurt sales. Authors worry their content published online will be stolen. I regularly research topics I'm writing. In fact, I conduct research every day. A Google web search includes searching the Google book index. Reading a few snippets of a book influences whether I buy the book or not. In fact, I've purchased books online I never planned to buy, because the content I read from scanned book intrigued me.

    The editor said his publisher was talking with Google Books. In the future, people will be able to buy two chapters from one book and a couple of chapters from another book rather than purchasing the entire book. E-readers—Kindle™, Sony Reader and Plastic Logic (see pictures)— plus online Google books, iPhones and Blackberries will change the way we'll buy, store and read books. To visually look great on electronic devices, it will also affect how writers structure what's written on the page or how a chapter is written. For example, hard copies place endnotes at the end of the chapter. Online content links to the source. With the different reading platforms, page content needs to be an easy read.

    For those who love to read and write, the future presents exciting challenges and opportunities. I love Abraham Lincoln's quote, "The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time." Google Books scans older issues of some magazines that can now be read for free online. No more using gas to drive to the library. Those magazines are:

    American Cowboy
    Baseball Digest
    Best Life
    Better Nutrition
    Cruise Travel
    Log Home Living
    Mac Life
    Maximum PC
    Men's Health
    Mountain Biker
    New York
    Organic Gardening
    Popular Mechanics
    Runners World
    Running Times
    Vegetarian Times
    Women's Health
    Yoga Journal

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