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Preview: Google Book Search Blog

Google Book Search Blog

News from the Google Book Search Team.

Updated: 2018-03-18T04:18:02.445-07:00


Google Books Search Blog joins the Inside Search Blog


Thanks to everyone who’s been a loyal reader of the Google Books Search blog over the years. As part of an effort to simplify our communications channels, we’re retiring this blog and moving on over to the official Google Inside Search Blog. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation about Google Books search there.

For those of you interested in eBooks, be sure to follow Google Play at to learn all about upcoming author Hangouts plus new content, features and releases on Google Play.


Jacques Pépin cooks a talk up for Googlers about the essentials


“If you happen to have talent and are a good craftsman, you could really [make] extraordinary food with a bit of love.” - Jacques Pépin
As a child, I grew up with inspiring classic TV programs featuring chefs like Julia Child, Martin Yan, and of course, Jacques Pépin, the award-winning French chef. With great fascination, I would watch him on his hit show, Jacques Pépin: Fast Food My Way, as he prepared cuisines like sautéed rabbit with morels and pearl onions, and tartelettes aux fruits. His beautifully presented dishes were the epitome of classic French homestyle cooking with just the right amount of panache.

Pépin came to Google recently to discuss his latest book, Essential Pépin, which encompasses all the recipes from his expansive career as a French chef. Not only does the thick cookbook contain a trove of recipes, but a DVD containing techniques Pépin recommends for cooking, such as perfecting your knife technique and the best way to flip an omelette — all signature styles that are best viewed rather than read.

During his talk here, Pépin advised that rather than leave a good recipe the way it is, he wanted to keep going deeper with exploring more ways in which a recipe could improve. But although his recipes are constantly evolving, and are now quite different than they were 25 years ago due to constant improvements over the years, Pépin's cooking techniques are the same.

From a man who turned down cooking for the Kennedys in order to cook at Howard Johnson’s, Essential Pépin is cooking through the master chef's eyes, and preparing food with an appreciation for and a sense of aesthetics.

Check the talk out here:
allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">(image)

A Change to Our Retailer Partner Program: eBooks Resellers to Wind Down Next Year


With the launch of Google eBooks in 2010, we introduced a multi-faceted approach to selling ebooks: online, on devices, through affiliates and through resellers. One part of that effort -- the reseller program -- has not gained the traction that we hoped it would, so we have made the difficult decision to discontinue it by the end of January next year.

This change will help us focus on building the best ebooks experience we can across hundreds of devices with millions of books. Books will continue to be a major content pillar alongside apps, music and movies in the Google Play store. And -- regardless of where they bought them -- customers will still be able to access and read their ebooks on the web, phones, tablets and compatible eReaders.

We will work closely with our sixteen reseller partners as they transition in the coming months. Also, booksellers will still be highlighted in the “Buy this book” section of Google Book search, supported with our affiliate program and have access to free Books APIs.

Looking at the results to-date, it’s clear that the reseller program has not met the needs of many readers or booksellers. While our role as an ebooks wholesaler to booksellers will be coming to a close next year, we remain as committed as ever to making the eBooks experience from Google the best it can be for readers around the world.(image)

Anne Rice On Man-Wolves, "White Collar," and Why Her Immortals Would Never Go to High School


Posted by Anne Bartholomew, Merchandising Manager, Books on Google Play Anne Rice laid the foundations in so many ways for authors writing paranormal fiction today, and much of her early work still stands out for me as the turn-to books when it comes to creatures of the night. The Wolf Gift is no exception, and it does, as the Wall Street Journal noted, bring "vintage Anne Rice" to mind as it grapples with a "gothic, violent, gory, metaphysical" voyage into the supernatural. Watch our full Q&A with her (also available on our our YouTube channel.) allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Some of the best moments from the talk included her reflections on today's popular paranormalists. Anne noted that she enjoys how writers today are "domesticating" vampires, and realizes it's a path her own vampires would never have taken. She also reveals her inspiration for the houses in her books. She built The Wolf Gift's opulent Nideck Point estate "block by block, floorboard by floorboard" with memories of the wonderful houses she's lived in, and with her admiration for great fictional houses in mind (like Rochester's in Jane Eyre and Miss Havisham's in Great Expectations).We live-streamed our Q&A for fans outside of Google, many of whom submitted questions online for us to share with Anne in the course of the interview. I'd like to extend a big thanks for fans' participation and enthusiasm--your questions sparked some great discussion and we enjoyed how the event was so interactive.Please stay tuned for more author events from Google Play and AtGoogleTalks! Buy a digital copy of The Wolf Gift on the Google Play Store, to read on your tablet, phone, eReader or anywhere on the web:   USCanadaUKAustralia [...]

Introducing Google Play: All the entertainment you love, anywhere you go


Starting today Google eBooks will be available on Google Play - a new place to experience books, music, movies, and Android apps and games, available anywhere you go. For users of our Google Book Search platform, we are excited to offer this seamless way to purchase and enjoy the eBooks you’ve discovered. With over 4 million titles, Google Play is your home for the world’s largest selection of eBooks. Beyond books, Google Play lets you store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new songs. It’s home to 450,000 Android apps and games and gives you access to thousands of your favorite movies for rent, including new releases and HD titles.

Learn more on the Official Google Blog.

Explore Google Play at
Shop our store at
Follow Google Play on Google+ to keep up on the latest news, exclusive content, and deals.(image)

Identify and Use your Power: A discussion with Susan Cain


Posted by Mireya Sémelas, Google eBooks Strategist I had the pleasure today of meeting Susan Cain when she participated in an Authors@Google event hosted at our Mountain View headquarters. Her stimulating new release Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking has made it to the top of The New York Times Bestseller list. Before becoming an acclaimed author, Susan practiced corporate law for seven years and then worked as a negotiations consultant. Her list of clients includes well-known firms like JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, One Hundred Women in Hedge Funds and many more. However, far from being the self-confident person that her career might make her appear to be, Susan declares herself an introvert. She prefers listening to talking and reading to socializing. Watch her presentation at Google here:In her talk, Susan said that our style as introverts or extroverts is embedded in ourselves, just like our gender; and it makes us react to stimulation in different ways. Susan said that while extroverts seek stimulation, introverts tend to react more to light, sound and and other types of stimulation, preferring less of it. From as early as our childhood days, Susan said, we are constantly exposed to extrovert environments: playgrounds in which we are made to join in games with other kids, school classes where we have to read out loud and participate in team assignments to obtain good grades. And yet, she asserted, some children stay on their parents’ laps instead of running around with others or seek quiet spots to do their homework. This attitude accompanies us through adulthood, where we're exposed to workplaces that promote open working spaces, teamwork and social gatherings. Buy this Google eBook!Susan’s book asks how introverts can cope and succeed, and suggests that we try to achieve a balance between our introvert and extrovert impulses. She points out that the most successful teams and marriages include both an introvert and extrovert. "No man is an island," she stated, "...we need people around us." At the end of her talk, Susan shared with the attendees three important takeaways that resonated, personally, with me:Give yourself time for quiet. Guilt-free. We’re all entitled to it.Think differently about the next generation of introvert children. Solitude is a catalyst to creativity.Think hard about what the essence to your great power is.  Susan joked that it might be the ability to fly, go back in time, win a wizard scholarship or even find the key to a secret garden, but whatever it is - she urges us to use that power, well and brilliantly.   [...]

Nothing Says Valentine’s Day Like Vampires: Get Twilight Today For Only $2.99


This one day special is now over
Forget the chocolate and flowers this Valentine’s Day. The rush of new brooding love can be all yours with our special offer on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight eBook. Seventeen-year-old Isabella "Bella" Swan moves to a new town in the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula, and her life changes completely when she meets Edward Cullen, the most attractive guy at her high school. But Edward has a deep, supernatural secret, and his love, though pure and true, threatens her very existence. The angsty affection of Twilight spawned a whole new genre of paranormal romance when it was released and the series continues to lead the bestseller lists today. Treat yourself to this guilty pleasure with the first book in the series - Twilight, today for only $2.99. This offer is good for readers within the United States and Canada, through midnight EST today, 2/14/12.(image)

Join Anne Rice's online broadcast discussion of "The Wolf Gift"


Posted by Ariel Levine, Google eBooks Associate Anne Rice, author of Interview with the Vampire, The Witching Hour, and Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim will be coming to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View to discuss her latest book, The Wolf Gift, on Friday, February 24th at 10AM PST. Fans around the world can get involved in this talk by submitting questions for her, and attend the talk by watching the live-stream on YouTube (see details below).The Wolf Gift is a richly imagined story of a man turned wolf trying to figure out what his new reality means--all while trying to stay one step ahead of the people desperate to hunt him down. With this novel, Anne Rice makes an intriguing return to the gothic world her fans know and love, set this time not in her native New Orleans but along California's haunting mist-shrouded coast. Both searching and suspenseful, it’s a gripping exploration of a man both delighted and tormented by a life he could never have anticipated.The talk will be live streamed on the Authors@Google YouTube channel, and there will be some time for fan questions. If you’d like to submit a question for consideration please visit our Google Moderator page for the event. We look forward to you joining us as we discuss the depths of this supernatural tale.Read The Wolf Gift: Pre-order the ebook for The Wolf Gift today from Google eBooks (available February 14) for easy reading on tablets, smartphones, e-readers and the web. The Wolf Gift is available in all of our online stores: Buy in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia or Canada!Submit your questions for Anne Rice: Click on this Google Moderator page to submit your questions and vote on other fans’ questions. We will select some of the most popular questions to ask Anne Rice during the talk. The Google Moderator page is open from now until February 23rd, 12PM PT.Watch the live YouTube broadcast: On Friday, February 24th, at 10AM PT, Anne Rice’s interview will be broadcast live from the Authors@Google YouTube channel, The talk will last 30-45 minutes. We'll also post the recorded interview on this page afterwards.(Photo credit: Matthias Scheer @2010) More about Anne Rice:Check out her official website Follow her on TwitterRead some of her most popular books: Interview with the Vampire The Vampire Chronicles The Witching Hour Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim [...]

Doodling for Dickens’ Birthday: A behind the scenes look


Posted by Ariel Levine, Google eBooks Associate Today marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birthday (born February 7, 1812). To celebrate the life and work of one of the world's greatest storytellers, the Google doodle team created this fantastic celebratory doodle for our home page: In addition, our Google Books editorial team curated a collection of free and featured Dickens classics available in the Google eBookstore in Dickens' native land (United Kingdom) and some Commonwealth countries (Canada, Australia) as well as the US -- a relatively new nation that Dickens himself visited in 1842 and 1867. As anyone who has read a Dickens novel can attest, they are full of memorable characters, realism, humor, lyricism, and social commentary. He is considered one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian era, and responsible for some of the most iconic stories in English literature. Contemplating Dickens’ diversity of characters and themes, I wondered how the artist who created the Dickens doodle, Mike Dutton, handled the challenge.Prior to working at Google, Mike was a freelance artist, and illustrated several children’s books, including Donovan's Big Day. He is no stranger to making the words on a page come alive through imagery. Mike has worked on countless doodles, some honoring other authors like Richard Scarry, and others celebrating events like the Royal Wedding and the World Cup. His favorite doodles to work on (so far!) were Mary Blair’s 100th birthday and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (author of The Little Prince). When asked about his experience trying to represent Dickens, Mike said that it posed a greater challenge than most. “Google doodles,” he said, "are intended to be fun and delightful"; however Dickens’ work is frequently serious in tone. So I decided to focus on Dickens’ characters to bridge this gap.” And Mike’s doodle is full of characters! We see Nell and her grandfather in the The Old Curiosity Shop, many characters from Little Dorrit, Oliver and his friends from Oliver Twist and Estella and Pip from Great Expectations. Even a certain French aristocrat graces the doodle, sitting inside the uppercase “G” -- a reference to his near death by guillotine. And no tribute to Dickens would be complete without Ebenezer Scrooge and a vivid depiction of London in the background. Mike said that while he normally works on his tablet, he had to go back to a physical drawing board for the Dickens doodle, creating each character separately so that he could place them within different parts of the Google logo. Like an engineer, he likes to iterate on what he designs until he gets it right. Mike’s puzzle – layering characters from Great Expectations and Oliver TwistWhen I visited his office, I also saw that like other artists, Mike immersed himself in his subject. He had Dickens’ novels stacked by his desk, as well as images from adaptations of the author’s novels pinned to his wall. “Just happy to be here.” Interestingly, while a doodler’s work neither hangs in a museum nor receives the reverence of a Da Vinci or a Picasso, the illustrations are perhaps more widely and instantly viewed than any other artists’ in history. When asked about this, Mike responded: “Sometimes I feel I got to cut in line somewhere along the artist’s journey. Being a doodler is a very fun job, but we take it seriously. Our ultimate goal is to engage and delight users, but we want to make sure we really pay proper homage to each figure along the way too.” Mike’s doodle lets Dickens’ characters speak to the author’s impact, the way Dickens himself used them to speak his messages to the world. They are familiar, warm, and tell their sometimes harsh stories in a way that makes us want to take notice and enjoy. He uses them to successfully capture what made Dic[...]

Gertrude Stein puts the “there” back in Oakland


By Matt Werner, Technical Writer, EnterpriseGertrude Stein. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.) What exactly did renowned U.S. writer and art collector Gertrude Stein mean when she said “there is no there there” about Oakland, California? In honor of Gertrude Stein’s 138th birthday today, we explore the meaning of this oft-quoted phrase. In fall 2011, I attended the SF Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit of Stein’s groundbreaking Paris art collection. At the exhibit, a small display about her childhood in Oakland, California, sparked my interest. I was born in Oakland, and I’m currently writing a book about Oakland. I wondered what it was like for Gertrude Stein growing up there in the 1880s. I purchased The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas from the Google eBookstore to read about Stein’s experiences in Paris and San Francisco with her companion, Alice Toklas. The more I read by Stein and saw how she plays with language, the more I wondered about the meaning of her “no there there” quote. There is a “There” in Oakland. (Photo by Joe Sciarrillo)Searching Google Books, I found the “no there there” quote on page 298 of Everybody’s Autobiography, published in 1937. The full quote is: “...what was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.” Searching the Google News archive, I found that dozens of articles over the last several decades used her quote. Searching Google Scholar, I found over 1,000 scholarly articles referencing her quote. But still, I wanted to learn more. What was Oakland like in the 1880s? I went to the Oakland History Room at the Oakland Main Library to find out. Newspaper clippings from Stein’s file in the Oakland History Room referencing her “there” quote. Stein’s family moved to Oakland in 1880, when she was six, and lived at the Tubbs Hotel their first year. Author Robert Louis Stevenson also stayed at this hotel from March to April, 1880. Tubbs Hotel, Oakland, California. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room)Her family then moved to a home near today’s 13th Avenue and East 25th Avenue. She lived in Oakland until 1891, and left at age 17 for Baltimore, after her parents passed away. Oakland was a much smaller town then, with a population of just under 35,000 in 1880. Downtown Oakland in 1889. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room)Children playing in a water hole near where Stein grew up in Oakland in this 1884 photo. (Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room)Nearly 45 years later, Stein returned to Oakland on a lecture tour in 1935. By that time, the city had grown nearly 10 times to over 300,000 residents. When she tried to find her childhood home, it was no longer there. When she published Everybody’s Autobiography two years later, saying there was “no there there,” it was an expression of “painful nostalgia” about her home being gone and the land around it being completely changed. The house where she grew up was on a sprawling 10-acre plot surrounded by orchards and farms. By 1935, it had been replaced by dozens of houses. Oakland held a special significance to her, and on her return, she found that Oakland had urbanized and changed from the pastoral place she remembered. Gertrude Stein writes in her autobiographical novel, The Making of Americans, about her childhood in Oakland, where a child “could have all anybody could want of joyous sweating, of rain and wind, of hunting, of cows and dogs and horses, of chopping wood, of making hay, of dreaming, of lying in a hollow all warm with the sun shining while the wind was howling.” She won her first literary award as a student at Franklin School in Oakland for a piec[...]

East West Bookstore: Lending a personal touch to eBooks


This is a guest blog post written by Graham Waldon, manager of East West Bookstore, an independent bookseller based in Mountain View, CaliforniaPeople are more important than things. That motto lies at the heart of what we believe at East West Bookstore, lending a certain resonance to our partnership with Google and its philosophy of "focus on the user and all else will follow."East West is not just a business. It is above all a resource for expansive ideas, a retreat from ordinary life, and a gathering place in support of community ideals and spiritual growth. True spirituality is always current, vibrant, and applicable to daily life, not something to be hidden away or buried in the depths of history. In that spirit, East West always strives to evolve and adapt to people's current needs. One of our fun new evolutions this past year has been our integration with Google to sell Google eBooks on our website. Our partnership has given us a complete ebookstore, with a vast selection, so that as more and more people move to ebooks, we'll be there ready for them. Since we rely heavily (like all independent bookstores) on people who love helping to support us, we're glad we can offer them this way of doing so. And when you buy a Google eBook from us, you're supporting more than just East West. You're serving our whole community by supporting an important spiritual and cultural resource that is unique in the Bay Area. Some of us on the staff here already take our eReaders with us wherever we go, and many of our customers are the same way. For those who aren't, we held a "technology petting zoo" event on January 3rd for folks who were just looking for a friendly way to dip their toes in and find out what this whole ebook thing is all about. With help from some of our Google friends, we had demonstrations, one-on-one assistance, and a variety of devices -- including an iPad, iPhone and Android devices -- on hand for people to try out. Customers who came out enjoyed the event, learned a lot about eReaders and apps, and became more familiar with our ebookstore. A visiting couple from Portland was glad to be able to support East West even after they headed back home, by purchasing eBooks. A local author was inspired to get her own book published through Google eBooks. And everyone enjoyed exploring the expanded possibilities of reading in the digital age. Check out East West's ebookstore. Hundreds of bookstores across the US are also selling Google eBooks. To find your nearest participating independent bookstore and learn how you can support them through Google eBooks, visit For customers outside the US, you can search for participating stores in Australia, Canada and the UK. [...]

Read Google eBooks Offline!


We’ve all been there: the Internet is suddenly down, and you can’t keep on reading your ebook to see what the character decides to do next. Or you’re about to head to the airport and want to be able to dive into a newly-purchased ebook during a long flight.

Well, here’s some much-awaited good news! Google eBooks now supports offline reading in Google Chrome. Whether you are flying through the air, backpacking through the European countryside, or simply facing intermittent network connections, you can always read your Google eBooks in your Chrome browser or on your Chromebook.

To read your Google eBooks offline, you’ll need to install the Google Books app from our Chrome Web Store and ensure your Google eBooks are available to read offline. Please see this article in our Help Center and follow the simple step-by-step process to enable offline reading for your ebooks.

We’re excited to make it easier for readers to access their Google eBooks on the go -- whether you're online or offline!(image)

Flock to Google Books to Unlock Secrets in Angry Birds Seasons


Tis the season to be... angry! We're partnering up with Angry Birds this holiday season to bring you an early gift. In the latest adventures of your favorite furious feathered friends — Angry Birds Seasons for Chrome — the birds have locked away bonus levels in the game. Being avid readers, they've hidden clues to unlock the bonus levels in the new Google Books app for Chrome.

We're not going to reveal the birds' secret here, but read on for some hints:

First, if you haven't already, download the Angry Birds Seasons app for Chrome. To do so, open your Chrome web browser, then download the game by going here in Chrome. (Don't have Chrome yet? It's a fast and free browser available for download here, with Angry Birds Seasons and Google Books app pre-installed.)

To get the bonus levels in Angry Birds Seasons, you'll need to head over to the Google Books app to find your first clue. Open your Chrome web browser, and go here to download the Google Books app. Once you've installed the Books app, open it up to find out how to unlock the bonus levels in Angry Birds Seasons.

What levels are the Angry Birds hiding? Find out with Google Books!

Google Currents is hot off the press


Posted by Mussie Shore, Product Manager, and Sami Shalabi, Technical LeadThe following launch announcement is cross-posted from the Google Mobile blog, and comes from Google Currents, a new app that makes reading magazine and news articles on mobile devices a clean and elegant experience.We strive to give you beautiful and simple ways to experience all the content the web has to offer, such as sharing photos on Google+, watching YouTube videos and discovering books, movies and music from Android Market. Today we’re expanding our content offering with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Ready for consumersWe’ve worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline.To get started, simply download the app and choose the publications you want to subscribe to for free. You can also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions you’re already following. In addition to consuming your favorite media, you can also use the trending tab to discover related content that matches your tastes. Ready for publishersAlongside Google Currents, we’re also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content. For example, if you’re a small regional news outlet, a non-profit organization without access to a mobile development team, or a national TV network with web content, you can effortlessly create hands-on digital publications for Google Currents. Great content needs a great audience, which is why Google Currents is integrated with Google+ so users can share articles or videos they’ve enjoyed with their circles. Publishers can also associate their account with Google Analytics in order to increase their awareness of consumers’ content preferences, device use and geographic distribution. Google Currents is now available for download in Android Market and the Apple App Store for US users. Whether you’re a reader or a publisher, we hope that Google Currents helps you easily experience the best content on the web. Try it here now and stay tuned for more to come. [...]

Take Note(s): Highlighting your Google eBooks


Posted by Xinxing Gu, Google Books Product ManagerLike many of you, we love to highlight and mark up our books, capturing insights, important notes to remember, or even gathering opinions to later share with our favorite authors. Starting today, you'll also be able to break out the colored highlighters and pens with Google eBooks in the Web Reader. To start adding notes, first open your web browser and find your Google eBooks in your My eBooks bookshelf (make sure you are signed into your account at the top right hand corner of your screen). If you don’t have any ebooks yet, you can start your collection with a free classic from Best of the Free bookshelf, or purchase an ebook from our eBookstore. Then, click on the book to open it in the Web Reader. You should be able to select the text you want to comment on by dragging or double-clicking with your mouse. A context menu will appear, and you can then click on "Add Note". A notepad will be displayed where you can write down your notes and pick a highlight color too. In addition, you can add multiple lines of notes, and format them with bold or italic font style. To make text bold, place the text between two asterisks (*), and to italicize text, place it between two underscores (_). For instance:When you click the "Save" button, you will create a new note. Then, when you bring that note up, it will display the formatting you specified:You can also just pick a color from the bottom of the original context menu to highlight the text, without adding notes:After adding notes, you can conveniently see all your notes in the ebook by clicking on the "Margin Notes" icon at the top right of the Reader. The menu will show you all the text you've highlighted text and the notes you've made on them. You can click on each result to go to the corresponding page in the book.To edit or delete a note, hover your mouse over the highlighted text until a pop-up menu appears. Then click on the "Edit" or "Delete" button to make the change.These new features are currently only enabled for ebooks available in "flowing text mode", and highlights or notes can't be added to ebook samples. We are also working hard on bringing these features to your mobile devices and eReaders, so stay tuned! [...]

Celebrating the life of Mark Twain with a Google Doodle and Google Books


Posted by Oliver Chiang, Google eBooks StrategistPlease note some images may not be available in full view to readers outside the United StatesIn honor of Samuel Langhorne Clemens' – better known to the world as Mark Twain – 176th birthday today, Google has prepared a special doodle evoking one the most famous scenes from one of Twain's most famous novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We at Google Books invite you to take a trip through this American author and humorist's life via our body of digitized works, and maybe even convince you to read a free ebook copy of one of Twain's classics.As a child, Twain lived in Hannibal, Missouri, a town on the Mississippi River, in the early to mid-1800s. Twain describes one of his first jobs as a "printer's 'devil'" – an apprentice at his uncle's newspaper, the Weekly Hannibal Journal. "500 subscribers, and they paid in cord-wood, cabbages, and unmarketable turnips," he recalls of the experience later in his short-lived column "Memoranda" (circa 1871) for The Galaxy magazine.From the cover of Life on the Mississippi Twain was a man of many jobs and experiences. In Life on the Mississippi, Twain writes about his early twenties as a steamboat pilot on the river: "I believe there has been nothing like it elsewhere in the world." Soon after, as described in "The Private History of a Campaign that Failed," Twain talks about his very brief stint in a volunteer militia group for the Confederacy at the start of the U.S. Civil War. Embarking on his career as a writer and a journalist in the mid-1860s, Twain wrote about his travels in the the U.S. and Europe in Roughing It and The Innocents Abroad, respectively. Illustration from The Innocents Abroad By midlife, the prolific Twain was publishing some of his best-known works, for instance – 1875: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer1881: The Prince and the Pauper1884: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn1906 photo from a copy of The Adventures of Tom SawyerTwain was born during Halley's Comet's passing by Earth, and famously predicted he would "go out with it" too. Just a day after the comet's subsequent return in 1910, Twain indeed passed away. If the writer ever felt any grievance toward the harbinger-comet, he would be happy to know that he is much more popular, at least in literature, than the comet. Mentions of his pen name far surpass mentions of "Halley's Comet" in our extensive corpus of scanned Google Books, as seen in the Ngram chart below: The blue line represents mentions of "Mark Twain", the red, "Halley's comet"Twain also arranged for his whimsical autobiography, Autobiography of Mark Twain, to be published 100 years after his death. The book was published in 2010 by the University of California Press, and is available for purchase as a Google eBook. Its success makes Twain one of the few to become a posthumous best-selling author, a full century later.Find more digitized ebooks by Mark Twain in our Google eBookstore or our Best of the free shelf. [...]

Pre-order your favorite ebooks at the Google eBookstore


Excited about Michael Connelly's upcoming new book The Drop? Can't wait to get your hands on True Blue by Diana Palmer? Worried your bookstore will run out of Dean Koontz's The Moonlit Mind before you can get your copy?

Have no fear: Pre-ordering in the Google eBookstore is here!

We are excited to announce that the our eBookstore now supports pre-orders for many titles that have not yet been released. No longer must you wait outside in long lines and in the cold, or worry that you'll forget to call ahead with enough time to reserve a copy of that sequel you've been dying to read.

Simply sign into your Google Account, search for the title you want to pre-order and click on "Pre-order eBook" button.

After you’ve confirmed your pre-order, the title will appear in your purchase history. Once the title is officially released to the public, your credit card will be charged, and we'll send you an email letting you know that your book is ready to read!(image)

Google eBooks arrive Down Under


Posted by Mark Tanner, eBooks Partnerships Manager, Google Australia(Cross-posted on the Official Google Australia Blog)Today, Google eBooks has landed in Australia, and whether you're a bookworm or casual reader, you're invited to stop by and stock up on some great reads for summer. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" src="" height="480" width="640">We've got hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, including plenty of best sellers, and more than two million free eBooks on top of that. It's easy to find great Australian authors like Kate Grenville, Thomas Keneally, Geraldine Brooks and Christos Tsiolkas. Google eBooks is all about choice: we're offering more titles and more ways to buy, access and read them, so that your library is literally at your fingertips. You can choose from great titles from hundreds of local publisher partners at launch, including award-winning publishers like Allen & Unwin, Scribe and Text Publishing, not to mention the many thousands of international publishers Google works with around the world. In addition, we are working with some of the best local booksellers in Australia, including Booktopia and Dymocks who are selling eBooks today, with QBD The Bookshop and The Co-op Bookshop coming soon. Plus, choose your favorite device for any occasion. You can discover, purchase and read our eBooks on almost any device, including your PC or netbook; Android and Apple smartphone or tablet; or pretty much any eReader, picking up at the same spot that you left off as you move from one device to another. We're also pleased to report that with our Australian launch, we are opening up our Google eBooks affiliate program in Australia, Canada and the UK. The affiliate program allows retailers, bloggers, book publishers and other website owners to earn commissions when they refer their users to Google eBooks. To learn more, please visit our Google eBooks Affiliate Integration Help Centre page. We're happy to make it even easier for all Australians to discover, buy and read their next great book. Head on over to our new eBookstore, visit one of our great retail partners, or check out the new books tab on the updated Android Market, and get stuck in your next amazing story today. [...]

A visit from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan


Greg Sanders, Technical Writer, DoubleClick and display productsWe were pleased to host Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, for an Authors@Google event in our New York office this August. I had the pleasure of moderating the talk with Egan in front of a group of Googlers. Although the cast of characters spanning Goon Squad is vast and raucous, Egan is most interested in the sometimes self-destructive, sometimes tender-hearted protagonists, a music producer and former punk-rocker, Bennie Salazar, and his klepto assistant, Sasha. The book has received much press focused on the nonlinear nature of its narrative. Rather than flowing predictably from past to present to future, the chapters are ordered either to trace the threads of the characters' lives – to lend credence and nuance to their current state of mind – and sometimes as needed to maintain the plot’s tension. For example, we're led back in time to the formative days of West Coast punk, then thrust a decade or two into the future of lower Manhattan, all with interesting effect, especially as regards Egan's take on technology. Yet I found other aspects of her novel even more intriguing. First, as a fiction writer myself, I was impressed with the control and narrative prowess Egan exhibits in Goon Squad, including the numerous voices and styles she employs to tell her story. I was particularly interested in one "future" chapter, told by the sister of an Aspergian child, called "Great Rock 'n' Roll Pauses," that presents its narrative in the form of a series of graphs and charts. (Makes us wonder how data narratives will fit with straight-up storytelling in the future.) In addition, she clearly grants her imagination broad license. I wanted to understand how she manages her creative process, and wondered if she had a model that was generalizable for writers and engineers (remember, this is Google) alike. To prepare for the role as moderator, I made a mental map of the narrative arcs that intersect across the chapters; I read the book a second time and took notes on character names, places, plot points, settings, etc. I then began generating potential points of discussion. When I felt I had a critical mass of questions, I typed them up on index cards (see a sampling) using a manual typewriter. Egan, I discovered in my research, writes all of her early drafts in longhand. This would prompt at least one question I'd ask her: does the mode we write in influence the content we write? The discussion with Egan was fast-paced and improvisational. She clearly enjoys expanding on the themes of her work – technology, music, the perception of time, the nature of memory – and is refreshingly open about the process she goes through while writing a book like Goon Squad. Take a look for yourself. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Egan speaks at Authors@Google in our New York office Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad is available as a Google eBookstore, as well as other novels by her (available in certain countries):The KeepThe Invisible CircusLook at Me [...]

Google eBooks opens a new chapter for Canadian readers


Posted by Kihyun Jung, Google eBooks Product ManagerIn the latest chapter of the roll-out of our eBookstore, we're pleased to announce that Google eBooks has just launched in Canada. Readers there can now access our vast online catalogue, including hundreds of thousands of titles for sale and more than two million free books in the public domain. We're excited to announce partnerships with both major international and Canadian publishers, including Random House, McClelland & Stewart, Douglas & McIntyre, House of Anansi and Dundurn. As a result, it’s easy to find popular best-selling and Canadian authors like Margaret Atwood and Ami McKay. What's more, we've also partnered with your favorite retailers, like Campus eBookstore and McNally Robinson, allowing you to purchase our Google eBooks from them as well. The Google eBooks platform is designed to be open and in the cloud, meaning you can pick up your eBook wherever you last left off on virtually any device: PCs and netbooks; Android and Apple tablets and smartphones; and compatible eReaders, like the Kobo, Reader™ from Sony, and Barnes & Noble Nook™. Since Google eBooks launched in 2010, it has enabled a rich ebooks ecosystem that includes application developers, publishers, device manufacturers, affiliates, and retailers. This gives consumers choice in what they buy, where they buy, and how they read. So go forth and read: we've got a few pieces in our eBookstore from Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Canada's first best-selling author, for you to enjoy. Begin browsing the Canadian Google eBookstoreLearn more about Google eBooks in the Canada Google eBooks, Un nouveau chapitre pour les lecteurs canadiensPublié par Kihyun Jung, Responsable Produit Google eBooksUn nouveau chapitre s’ouvre concernant le lancement à l'international de notre eBookstore et nous sommes heureux d'annoncer que Google eBooks est maintenant disponible au Canada. Les lecteurs peuvent désormais accéder à notre vaste catalogue en ligne, comprenant des centaines de milliers de titres disponibles à la vente et plus de deux millions de livres libres de droit. Nous sommes ravis d'annoncer que ce lancement se fait en collaboration avec les plus grands éditeurs internationaux et canadiens, dont Random House, McClelland & Stewart, Douglas & McIntyre, House of Anansi et Dundurn. Vous pourrez par conséquent trouver les livres des auteurs les plus connus et d'autres auteurs canadiens comme Margaret Atwood et Ami McKay. Nous avons également établi un partenariat avec vos librairies en ligne préférées, telles que Campus eBookstore et McNally Robinson, vous permettant d'acheter les livres électroniques de Google directement sur leur site Web. La plateforme de Google eBooks est une plateforme ouverte et reposant sur le concept du Cloud, ce qui signifie une expérience de lecture de votre eBook ininterrompue sur pratiquement n'importe quel appareil: PC et netbooks, tablettes Android et Apple, smartphones, et eReaders compatibles, comme le Kobo, Reader™ de Sony, et Barnes & Noble Nook™. Depuis le 1er lancement de Google eBooks en 2010, notre objectif est de créer un écosystème complet d'ebooks qui inclut les développeurs d'applications, éditeurs, fabricants d'appareils, sociétés affiliées, et les détaillants. Le tout pour donner un choix plus large aux consommateurs dans le type de publications qu'ils peuvent acheter, où ils peuvent acheter les livres et comment ils peuvent lire les livres achetés. Soyez les premiers et découvrez: nos extraits dis[...]

Chronicling the life of Chez Panisse Restaurant, one menu at a time


Posted by Cindy Chen, Product Specialist, GeoRecently, Google had the pleasure of hosting Patricia Curtan to chat about her new book, Menus for Chez Panisse, as part of the Authors@Google speaker series. Patricia is an artist, designer and printmaker with a long association with Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has designed and printed letterpress and linoleum block special-occasion menus for the restaurant for several decades. Her gorgeous new book gathers these menus in one place and provides an intimate look into the history and life of this important establishment. Chez Panisse and its founder, Alice Waters, have been credited as key influencers in the organic food movement, famous for its emphasis on sustainable, organic, locally grown and seasonal ingredients. Patricia's talk was fascinating. She explained her process of carving linoleum tiles that the US Army once used for submarine flooring to make the blocks she needs for her prints. She also talked about her ties to Chez Panisse. She worked as an apprentice in a printing office owned by a friend of Alice Waters. When the kitchen was understaffed one night, she was asked to fill in at the restaurant. She fell in love and never left. Throughout her time at Chez Panisse, Patricia continued to draw and print as a hobby. Years later, she left the kitchen to focus on printmaking, hand-making special-occasion menus for the restaurant's daily evolving meals amongst other artistic endeavors.Linoleum block prints carved by Patricia Patricia working at her press Patricia brought some of her menus for us to examine after her talk. There is something visceral and tactile about holding a piece of her work. I thought about how hand made objects elicited within me the natural desire to create in the same way that Chez Panisse may bring patrons closer to the desire to cook and grow their own food. At lunch after the talk, Patricia discussed the importance of making things with our own hands and growing our own food. She told us, "When we grow food with our own hands, whether it's the basil plant on your windowsill, or the small garden on the rooftop, we build a connection with that food. We are more eager to gather, taste and prepare. In the same way, when we hold a handmade menu, we understand the time, love and care that went into its making. It's a very important part of the magic that is Chez Panisse."Patricia at lunch in one of the Google cafés Inspired by the talk, I visited the restaurant last week. Patricia’s insider tip to me was to always order the salad, and I am glad I did. The magic of Chez Panisse lies in its ingredients. The signature of Californian cuisine is local, seasonal ingredients, cooked to highlight the freshness of the ingredients. Patricia's illustrated menus adorn the walls in the upstairs café Menus for Chez Panisse is a collection of Patricia's work, providing unique snapshots into the life of the restaurant. What Julia Childs, James Beard, Hillary Rodham Clinton ate there can all be found within the book's pages. Other menus show how much a meal cost when the restaurant first opened its doors in 1971... $1.75! How some things have changed! For other works by Alice Waters and Patricia Curtan, check out:The Art of Simple Food In the Green Kitchen Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, Calzone allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Patricia Curtan @ Google speaking about Menus for Chez Panisse [...]

Keep me posted about new books with Google Alerts


If you're an avid reader like me, you probably are always eagerly awaiting the next book by your favorite author, or new books on the topic you’re interested in. However, you might not always find out about those new books when they come out. Starting this week, you can set up a Google Alert for books and receive email notices when new books that match your interests become available.

To create an alert for books, go to Google Alerts, type in the keywords you are interested in about a book, (whether it’s title, author name, or topic) and choose “Books” from the Type drop-down button, and create. You can also preview the email you'll be sent on the right side panel. Once you create the alert, you will automatically begin receiving notification emails about new, recently published books in Google Books.

Some of my personal favorite alerts for books are:
Try setting up alerts for your own favorite books now!(image)

"So, what is it you do there at Grogel?"


Posted by Mireya Sémelas, Google eBooks StrategistMy beloved grandmother loves to talk to others about her grandchildren and how proud she is of what each one of us has become. Although, I always worried -- actually, I had solid evidence -- that she didn't fully understand my job at Google as an eBooks Strategist. Explaining Google to her has been a real challenge, as her daily interactions with technology are limited to the use of a phone (a landline, not even a mobile one), the washing machine and the TV. Worse, my mind used to go blank every time she asked me, "So, what is it you do there at Grogel?" I won't even get started on my efforts over the last three years trying to correct her pronunciation. Enough was enough. I love my Nana and I wanted her to be part of what I do. I wanted to share with her not only my personal but also my professional life. Nana is a fervent reader; her shelves are filled with literary gems that have been passed down through three generations in the family. I began to think about how I could connect her interest in books with my work on Google eBooks. It would still be a challenge: as an 87-year-old, Nana would likely have trouble imagining the existence of a paper-less book. But with this goal in mind, on my most recent visit to my family in Spain, I decided to give up trying to tell, and work on trying to show. I would help her experience firsthand the beauty of digital reading. Nana does not speak a single word of English, so I took her online to Google Books and looked for one of the greatest contributions to Spanish literature: La Celestina. For those of you unfamiliar with this treasure, this 15th-century masterpiece marks a cultural turning point in the history of Spanish literature.I downloaded the eBook in one click and opened it in the Web Reader on the browser. Throughout the few minutes it took to go through this simple process, Nana sat there quietly. When I finally turned to her to ask her to read a few words of the eBook, her face couldn't hide her amazement. But she read the whole first chapter out loud, the tone of her voice showing the excitement behind making this discovery. She was reading Calisto and Melibea's tragicomedy on a computer screen. She was seeing the year 1499 brought to the 21st century through the 'magic' of digital content. Ever since that experience, instead of avoiding asking about the details of my job, Nana can't stop asking me questions about it. I think that after having her experience reading eBooks on the Web Reader, on my eReader device and on my smartphone, I am the one who is now talking proudly about my Nana to others. [...]

Google Books Returns to the Annual Boston Book Festival


Posted by Abe Murray, Google Books Product ManagerBostonian bookworms curious about ebooks and the latest talented writers are in for a treat this Saturday, October 15th at the third annual Boston Book Festival – a free one-day event celebrating books and authors that's expected to attract more than 30,000 people. We'll be there hosting a Google eBooks Petting Zoo inside the main Boston Book Festival tent at Copley Square, as well as sponsoring two panel discussions. Interested passers-by to the Google eBooks Petting Zoo will be able to try out a variety of eReaders and tablets and explore the possibilities of reading books electronically on their favorite device. You'll be able to view Google eBooks on these devices from our vast selection that includes free classic titles and new bestsellers. Attendees may also enjoy Google’s sponsored panels, A Reason to Lead and Far Out Fiction: A Reason to Lead will explore Governor Deval Patrick’s memoir, A Reason To Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life. Governor Patrick will also discuss his story and the call to lead with Walter Isaacson, editor of Profiles in Leadership and author of the forthcoming authorized biography of Steve Jobs. (A Reason to Lead includes an introduction by Google's Scott Dougall, Director of Product Management, and will begin at 12:45pm at the Back Bay Events Center John Hancock Hall at 180 Berkeley Street)Far Out Fiction will include discussions with four of America's most imaginative talents. Gregory Maguire will speak about his soon-to-be-released Out of Oz; Karen Russell will present her much acclaimed debut novel, Swamplandia; pop culture vulture Chuck Klosterman will reveal his latest work of fiction, The Visible Man; and Kate Beaton will round out the session with her witty drawings of historic and literary characters navigating the modern world in Hark! A Vagrant. (Far Out Fiction includes an introduction by Google's Steve Vinter, Engineering Director, and will begin at 4:30pm at the Trinity Church Sanctuary at 206 Clarendon Street) If you're in the area, we invite you to check out these panel presentations at the Festival. And of course, feel free to drop by our booth anytime between 10am and 8pm for your chance to get "up close and personal" with ebooks. We look forward to seeing you there! [...]

A Google chat with Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee


Posted by Anna Tong, Google eBooks AssociateLast Wednesday, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee stopped by Google to discuss her new memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War (Beast Books, 2011). We were fortunate to have this extraordinary individual visit just two days before she found out she was one of three women awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. By way of background, Liberia in the early 2000s was a country ravaged by a civil war that had claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people. But the country's president refused to hold peace talks. Meanwhile the fighting continued, and warlords trained child soldiers. In the midst of this chaos, Gbowee had a dream."I heard a voice, and it was talking to me, commanding me: Gather the women to pray for peace!" she writes. Gbowee began organizing Liberian women of all ages, backgrounds and religions. Hers is an amazing tale of women’s unity: dressed in white, they picketed for months and confronted Africa’s male leaders. Thanks to their efforts peace was achieved, and in 2005, Liberia elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - the first modern-day female head of state in Africa. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Google vice president Megan Smith talks with Leymah GboweeI had the good fortune of being able to sit down with Leymah before her talk and ask her some questions. The first two questions are excerpted from my conversation with Leymah, while the second two are questions asked by Google audience members during her talk: Q: What advice can you give to girls around the world? A: Something that happens to girls that's universal and across all social statuses is that we let little things take our focus away. Whether you're a girl from Liberia or the U.S. or Hong Kong, you will have challenges. Don't let your story be that you didn't mount those challenges, whether in school or in your social life. Q: A central story in your memoir is your relationship with an abusive man. That's something many women can relate to. What's your advice to them? A: I always make myself available to listen in a non-judgmental way. When you are in an abusive relationship, the person is making you believe you can't get out, nobody will love you, etc. I try to sit and listen to women and I never criticize. I'm that shoulder. I'm there. I let them know there's always a place to come to if they need something. I've found myself helping women with finances if they make the decision to run away – I did this with girls who were married to ex-combatants. Q: Were you ever afraid? A: The war started when I was 17. I had my moments with terror in those early stages. The first time I saw a dead body I froze. By the time I was 31 I could walk over a dead body without a second thought. I had become immune to anything called fear. Q: The Western media made a big deal out of the Liberian women withholding sex while advocating for peace, but it wasn’t a huge part of your memoir. What are your thoughts on that? A: In [the US] the sex industry keeps the financial wheels turning... that over-objectification, it's destroying not just this country but our country as well. When I was growing up I sold donuts. Now girls say, "Why do I want to sell a donut when I can sell myself and make $20?" [Google needs] to start a campaign here showcasing very smart wome[...]