Where do these books come from?
Right now, many of our books are provided either by publishers and authors, through the Google Books Partner Programme or by our library partners, through the Library Project. We have also added metadata records for a great many books to the Google Book Search index.
The Partner Programme is an online-book marketing programme designed to help publishers and authors promote their books. Publishers and authors send us their books and we digitally scan them and make them available in our search results - all for free. For the most part, you can browse through a number of pages of these books, typically about 20%.
The Library Project involves partnerships with several libraries to include their collections in Google Book Search. Books scanned through the Library Project are displayed to you like a card catalogue, including basic info about the book and, in some cases, basic info plus a few snippets - sentences of your search terms in context. When these books are in the public domain, we will display the full text of the book, from start to finish.
In order to make Google Book Search a more comprehensive book discovery tool, we felt that it was necessary to include results for books that we had not yet digitised at our library partners or received via our Partner Programme. Since we have not scanned these books, they are not full-text searchable. This means that they will only be searchable by title, author, subject or copyright information and in some cases, tables of contents and/or a book summary. In effect, this is like seeing a library card catalogue online. However, for each book's "About this book" page, where possible, we will include reviews, articles that cite the book, books that cite the book and related books.