Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Here's What Participating in the Google Book Program Looks Like

Every once in a while I cross-post something on this blog about my own, non-Freelance Rights-related, writing. When I do so, I label the post "Plugola Central."

But now Anita Bartholomew has given me the opportunity to combine my two passions. Backed by homework, Anita has established not only that authors should opt out of the Google book settlement in the name of the greater good -- which I am recommending -- but also that they can get a better deal for themselves by just signing up directly with Google.

In case the whole subject remains mysterious to this blog's readers, I have decided, strictly as a public service of course, to offer an example: my 2007 book Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal is at Google Books. Go to http://snipr.com/fvdmo.

There you will see the cover, the publisher's somewhat clunky synopsis, an online preview of portions, links to online retailers and libraries, and assorted arcane goodies. (My favorite is the map with pins of places mentioned in the book. For example, on page 60 I noted that Jesse "The Body" Ventura was the mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, before he ascended to the governorship.)

I had actually asked the publisher to send the PDF files of my book pages to Google for uploading. I did not (and honestly, still do not) know all the elements of the business model, but I will definitely work to educate myself before the publication later this year of my next book, Chris & Nancy: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling's Cocktail of Death. As Anita notes, for example, Google Books would have installed a direct link to my website PayPal button for direct orders to me of Wrestling Babylon.

I also see that Amazon has an automated ad for a direct click to buy Wrestling Babylon every time someone lands on the Google Books page for it. Man, I've got to get a piece of that action!

Irv Muchnick


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