As an eventually-to-be-published author, of course I’m standing firm with the Association of American Publishers in its lawsuit against Google Print — why on earth would I want The Day-Glo Brothers to be easily found by anyone in the world interested in Day-Glo, brothers, or “the”?
But I’ll take it a step further: I think I’ll sue Google for making Bartography so visible to the world. I don’t recall giving them explicit permission to let random strangers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, or Norcross, Georgia, view parts of any blog post they want. What if the only thing that those strangers care about is seeing a few key words or phrases, and not reading an entire post? That’s what Google lets them do, and it’s site traffic out of my pocket.
But not Google’s. No, sir. Not only do they get site traffic that rightfully belongs to me, but they get revenue from ads sold on pages listing Bartography in search results. And that’s not right. Not only is it not right, it’s wrong. Because I get absolutely no benefit from people — random strangers, I tell you — being able to find my blog.
“Well, Chris,” you might say, “people who –“
“Er, ‘random strangers’ who find your blog through Google will learn about The Day-Glo Brothers, and that’s good word-of-mouth for your book.”
But don’t you see, that’s what I’m trying to avoid! I don’t want people to know about my book. It’s bad enough that Charlesbridge rejected my demand that they print only a single copy — mine! — and insisted on printing copies that might find their way into schools and libraries and bookstores. Now, with Google sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong, there’s a better chance that Random Strangers will find my book in those schools and libraries and bookstores. And that increases the likelihood that they’ll read or buy my book.
And that’s bad. But I’ll let the AAP explain why.