Amazon.com Offers Full Text Book Searches
Posted on October 31, 2003
Amazon.com has launched Search Inside the Book, a new feature which allows customers to find books by searching the full text inside them. In collaboration with publishers, Amazon.com is enabling customers to find books at Amazon.com based on every word inside more than 120,000 books -- over 33 million pages of searchable text. Customers can also preview the inside text of these books. Search Inside the Book has been integrated into Amazon.com's standard search tool.
The new service has alarmed some authors and the Author's Guild -- who claim that publishers may not own the rights to allow Amazon.com to search the complete text of books without the permission of the author. The Author's Guild is also concerned the service could reduce book sales. The Author's Guild was especially concerned about the databases impact on reference book sales. Customers have also complained that the new service has cluttered Amazon.com's book search tool because it includes the results of the new text search along with the results of author and book title searches. Those in favor of the new search tool, say it could increase book sales and allow readers to more easily find books.
"Innovation drives customer experience, and Search Inside the Book is a great example," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon.com. "With the help of publishers, we're offering a completely new way for people to find the books they want."
Search Inside the Book includes titles from more than 190 publishers, including: Wiley, Time Warner Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Inc., Random House, Inc., Publishers Group West, Incorporated, McGraw-Hill Professional, Holtzbrinck Publishers and HarperCollins Publishers.
Examples of How Search Inside the Book works:
- Customers interested in resistojet propulsion can search for "resistojet" and will see a list of the books at Amazon.com that contain this term in the text, in addition to those books that contain the term in the title.
- Books with "resistojet" in the text will display an excerpt including that word or phrase and a link that says "See more references to 'resistojet' in this book." By clicking on this link, customers will see a list of excerpts from all pages on which "resistojet" appears in the book they selected, as well as a link to view the full page from the book on which the excerpt appears.
- Once customers have clicked on the link to a specific page and signed in with their Amazon.com user name and password, they can preview relevant pages, including the page they selected, and search for other terms of interest within the book.
- Those looking to explore the scenic Multnomah Falls can search for this term to discover a wide range of related titles ranging from lodging and hiking guidebooks, to Leslie Carraway's Land Mammals of Oregon.
- Searching for "Curse of the Bambino" provides baseball lovers and Red Sox fans with a variety of books on the subject -- everything from Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within to Uncle John's Giant 10th Anniversary Bathroom Reader.
- Customers who search for "product price elasticity" will find over 100 titles, including Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, and David Besanko's Economics of Strategy, 2nd Edition, which includes 32 references to this exact subject.