Have a look HERE to see the Google Books Store, which has the top five paid and free books, as well as book recommendations and books organised by category. Each book includes an 'About this book' page with basic information but where it gets interesting is when the publisher has added all kinds of relevant information, such as a preview, book reviews, web references, maps, key terms and phrases or even a list of related books. For every book, you'll also see links directing you to bookstores where you can buy the book. If the book is out of copyright or the publisher made the book fully viewable, you can view any page and if the book is in the public domain, you can download, save and print a PDF version.
The Google Books Partner Programme
I always assumed all this was for the big publishers but you can simply sign up as a Google Books Partner HERE. Once your account has been created, you can provide hyperlinks to where ebooks are available, upload pdf versions or even send paperbacks to Google in the mail. Although Google Books has been around since 2008 the pdf upload is quite 'clunky' and still in ‘beta’ but worked OK for me. (It took a couple of attempts, as there are strict file naming rules and you upload the content, front and back covers as separate files.)
Customising Your Book Information
It takes a week or so for Google to ‘process’ your books then you will have access to Google Preview code that enables you to embed previews of your books on your own website. Visitors to your site are then able to browse and search within your books on each book’s product page. (See example of 'The Shell' on my blog sidebar.)
Managing Your Books on Google
There is a well thought out and easy to use page where you can add or update your book files, add and manage links and produce reports on activity:
The way I see it, anything you can do to help readers find your books has to be good – particularly if it’s free. It takes a while for your books to be 'processed', so the sooner you start the quicker you’ll get results. Have a go - and let me know how you get on.