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Full Text of Many Guidebooks Available at Google Print

October 30 2005 at 9:09 PM
roger  (Login dipper)

The full text of many guidebooks including guides to highpoints is now available at

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for guidebook authors remains to be seen.

The google search reveals a few pages on either side of an entry. Since most entries in guidebooks are only a few pages this would in fact capture the entire write up.

Google sabotages somewhat the ease of stealing the write ups. Text cannot be copied, you cannot save the page and you cannot print the page. Conceivably you could get much of the write up via “print screen” and then printing via a photo editing program but that is clumsey.

Amazon had a similar service for its books but Google is much faster and simpler.

A quick search for highpointers revealed Charlie and Diane Winger’s “Highpoint Adventures: The Complete Guide to the 50 State Highpoints” as well as Gary Fallesen’s “Peak Experiences -Hiking the Highest Summits in New York, County by County: Hiking the Highest”

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Diane Winger
(Login winglady3)

Authors "don't get no respect"!

October 31 2005, 9:16 AM 


As authors who used the traditional publishing route, we've learned all too quickly that everyone else makes money for our work, but we make very little.  This adds to the problem.

We earn less than $1.00 royalty per book sold by a bookstore.  The bookstore probably makes about $6 - $9 per copy sold, depending on whether they sell at a discount, and how much of a deal they got from the publisher.  Our publisher makes something, but that amount is anyone's guess.

That's why we started selling our books ourselves on our website.  At least we can earn what some of tiny bookstores make from our work.

Of course, the bottom line is that we wrote Highpoint Adventures and our books about Great Sand Dunes and about rock climbing at Joshua Tree because these were places and activities we loved, and because it was a lot of fun to work on the books.  We certainly didn't write books because we thought we'd earn much money!

The ironic thing is that our publisher made the decision to allow 2 of our books to be included in Google Print, so they're not only hurting our pocketbook, but probably their own as well.  The reasoning seems to be that if people see a portion of a book and like it, they'll buy a copy rather than keep coming back to view more pages for free.  I hope that reasoning is correct.


Diane Winger

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Steven Tursi
(Login stevetursi)

Re: Authors "don't get no respect"!

October 31 2005, 8:45 PM 

I hope they're right. I went and took a look just now and found that several pages were unavailable. Google's FAQ read:

6. I'm already logged in. Why are you telling me the page is unavailable?

As part of our efforts to protect a book's copyright, a set of pages in every in-copyright book will be unavailable to all users.

7. I really need to see more of this book. What can I do?

Google Print helps you discover books, not read them online. To read the whole book, we encourage you to use the "Buy this book" link to purchase it online or the "Find this in a library" link to look for a local library that has it.

I am not an author so I won't pretend to speculate what this means to authors. From my perspective, however, I think this is great. If you think about it, people go to B&N and have all the time in the world to read any page they want in any book in stock. They choose to buy or not buy the book based on what they read by sampling the book. Google essentially is doing the same thing, with the added bonus of being able to search the full text of the book and therefore quickly find a book about what you're looking for without knowing of a specific book or author - and I think that's wonderful.

So I hope this really works out for you and makes you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.. because I think it's pretty darn neat and would hate to lose it.

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Diane Winger
(Login winglady3)

Beyond our wildest dreams...

November 1 2005, 8:53 AM 

<<<  So I hope this really works out for you and makes you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.. because I think it's pretty darn neat and would hate to lose it. >>>

You know, you're right.  Even if we made 10 times our current royalties for our books, it still would be a tiny amount of money each year, and the Google Print feature really is a cool one for us computer geeks who love using the internet rather than running around stores trying to learn more about a product before we buy it.

Still, the "wealthy beyond [our] wildest dreams" concept sounds mighty good... 

Diane Winger

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(Login dipper)

Witches of Jerimoth Hill

November 5 2005, 3:27 AM 

In playing with the I came across an excerpt from Haunted Heritage talking about the witches of Jerimoth Hill.

The book calls Foster, RI, “Ghost Central” and RI’s version of Sleepy Hollow. It goes on to report on various ghosts in the vicinity including the woman at Witch Field near Tucker Hollow, the most famous ghost Peleg Walker near Ramtail Village.

The books notes witches were reported to inhabit Jerimoth Hill “according to old timers” The book notes witches probably haven’t returned because they got confused by the directions in the area where North Foster is south of Foster.

These sorts of tidbits are fun in the Google service. Amazon now apparently thinks it can charge to get those tidbits according to the NY Times (and other publications) which say it is preparing to unveil its service where you can buy a few pages of each book.

Authors are nervous about any online delivery service which they say will result in the piracy already exhibited with music and movies.

The service is indeed fun, easy and quick. But I think Google should stick to just putting the texts of public domain books and books authors volunatrily permit to be placed on the system rather than Google’s announced plan to scan all books on the planet whether the authors want that or not.

Google is no longer a beloved little start up. It has a market value bigger than Time Warner and is wanting to serve up the content to make a buck. It’s kind of like when movies first came out and the producers of the first silent version of “Ben Hur” said they didn’t have to pay the author because they felt that creating a movie would stir book sells. The courts said the movies gotta pay.

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