Publishers should check Google Books data for errors – could result in lost sales
February 4, 2011 | 9:31 am
By Paul Biba
The Bookseller is reporting that a mistake by Bowker could cause thousands of titles listed in Google Books to be attributed to the publisher BGR. Evidently Google Books was alerted to this problem a year ago, but it persists.
Book data is provided to Google Books by Bowker. Sharon Lubrano, Bowker general manager, explained that the BPR abel is an internal code used by Bowker to indicate that the publisher information is unknown.
She said: “The code was not meant to be used externally; rather it is an internal cue that prompts us to explore further to get information on a title.” Unfortunately, the code was included in some information streams to Bowker’s customers, which included Google Books. …
Hopkins [of Children’s Story Publishers, who found the error] was concerned about how the error could be affecting publishers’ sales. He said: “If a parent wants to buy a book for their child and can’t quite remember all the details, Google Books is somewhere they might look, but our titles would be attributed to the publisher BPR. We are not sure how many times that’s happened and how many sales we and other publishers have lost as a result.”