When Google announced in 2004 that it would digitize every book in the world, responses ranged from skepticism to outrage, as the publishing industry worried the project would hurt sales. But some publishers say Book Search has turned out to be a boon for them.
So far, Google has managed to digitize more than a million books, and more than 10,000 publishers participate in Google's Book Search program; as it grows, it faces more competition. Random House now has an online book site of its own — and Microsoft has started its own service, called "Live Book Search."
Google could end up transforming the way people buy books — but it's not going to do so without a fight.