Google offering the ability to search the contents of books is nothing new, users have been doing it for years. By using either Google Book Search or just searching from Google.com as normal, Google searches content that matches your search terms and link you to the book.
If the book is out of copyright or is from a participating publisher, Google will show you a preview of the text and in some cases, the whole book. There searches also contain a link that says Buy This Book or Borrow This Book with Google linking you to the appropriate page.
It’s these last two links that Google is expanding upon. Through partnerships with several e-tailers, users will be able to browse up to 20 percent of titles online by clicking a button labeled “Google Preview.” According to Alex Diaz, Product Manager of Google Book Search, this Google Preview feature is now live on retailer sites such as Books-A-Million, Blackwell Bookshop and The Book Depository in the UK, A1Books in India, Librería Norma in Colombia, Van Stockum in the Netherlands, and Livraria Cultura in Brazil with Borders.com, Powell’s Books and Buy.com adding the tool over the next few weeks.
Aside from being available to e-tailers Google has made the tools an open set of APIs which means its free for anyone to use on their Blog or homepage. The company is also working with Library catalogs, publisher and author sites and social book sites.