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John Green Joins Google Hangout with President Barack Obama

Novelist John Green is among the people “who regularly discuss important issues of the day online” picked to ask President Barack Obama questions in a Google+ “Fireside” Hangout tomorrow (February 14) at 4:50 pm EST. Above, we’ve embedded Green’s video about this virtual event.

Along with the other participants, Green will ask the President both his own questions and queries submitted by readers. Google outlined the event in a blog post:

the President will turn to Google+ to continue a more recent tradition, by taking questions online after his speech … Much like the Fireside Hangouts held by Vice President Biden and Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz over the past few weeks, the President’s Fireside Hangout will include a group of people who regularly discuss important issues of the day online.

Charles Duhigg Tops Google’s Trending Authors List for 2012

Google has released its Zeitgeist 2012 report, a look at the search terms that drew the most attention this year.

In the humanities section of the report, Google revealed some dramatic surprises about authors.

Despite all the Fifty Shades of Grey mania in 2012, searches for New York Times staff writer and The Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg generated ”the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011.”

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Use Free Google Docs Tools: NaNoWriMo Tip #2

 

Need some help keeping your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project organized?

We asked the Google Docs team for some suggestion on how to use the free suite of online writing tools during NaNoWriMo. We’ve collected five ways you can use Google Docs below.

This is our second NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.

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Will Google Glass Require a New Breed of Writers?

Writers could have a new kind of work in a world where everyone wears a computer. In an inspiring essay, The Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal looked forward to a world where everyone is wearing Google Glass–a pair of glasses that work like a computer screen.

While wearing these glasses, we would receive a stream of information about the world around us, but Madrigal reminded us that it will take a new kind of writer to create content for these devices. Check it out:

To me, in the extremely attention-limited environment of augmented reality, you need a new kind of media. You probably need a new noun to describe the writing. Newspapers have stories. Blogs have posts. Facebook has updates. And AR apps have X. You need people who train and get better at and have the time to create perfect digital annotations in the physical world. Fascinatingly, such a scenario would require the kind of local knowledge newspaper reporters used to accumulate, and pair it with the unerring sense of raw interestingness that the best short-form magazine writers, bloggers, tweeters, and Finderyers cultivate.

Google Forums for Writers & Publishing Professionals

Looking for some guidance with literary Google products? At a Social Media Week event in Los Angeles, Google’s Melissa Daniels and Jacky Hayward outlined how the tech giant reaches out to users in online forums.

We explored these forums, finding the most useful communities for writers and publishing professionals to explore. Follow the links below to visit:

1. Google docs forum about the online writing tool

2. Google Books API forum about the book search tool

3. Books on Google Play support page for digital book readers

4. Blogger forum for troubleshooting problems on your blog

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John Wiley & Sons Sells Frommer’s & Travel Publishing Program to Google

Google has acquired Frommer’s and all of John Wiley & Sons travel-related properties.

The publisher Wiley decided to sell the brand earlier this year, ruling that the assets “no longer align with the company’s long-term business strategy.”

Here’s more from Wiley: “On August 10, 2012, Wiley entered into a definitive agreement to sell all of its travel assets, including all of its interests in the Frommer’s brand, to Google.  Proceeds from this sale, and others that may arise from the sale of other consumer assets, will be redeployed to support growth opportunities in Professional/Trade; Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly; and Global Education businesses.”

Google Gives Lower Search Rankings to Piracy Sites

Google has decided to give lower search rankings to piracy sites, revealing that the company’s powerful search algorithm has been adjusted so that “sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.”

The company now counts a staggering amount of copyright notices. According to company records, Google received 4.4 million requests in the last 30 days to take down URLs for copyright violations (see chart above). If you want to learn more about book piracy, explore our posts on How To Fight Book Pirates and Why Readers Pirate eBooks and Writers Engage with eBook Pirates.

Here’s more about the new Google policy:  “Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law. So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won’t be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner. And we’ll continue to provide “counter-notice” tools so that those who believe their content has been wrongly removed can get it reinstated. We’ll also continue to be transparent about copyright removals.” (Via Victoria Strauss)

Google Nexus 7 Tablet Will Recommend eBooks

Today Google introduced a $199 Nexus 7 tablet. At the presentation, Google presenters highlighted the 7-inch tablet’s best qualities as eBook reading device (video embedded above)–including a new service that will recommend books for the individual tablet user.

AppNewser has more details about pricing, specs and content on the new device.

Here’s more from PC Mag: “the tablet will come pre-loaded with the Transformers Dark of the Moon movie, the Bourne Domination book, and issues of magazines like Popular Science, Food Network, and Conde Nast Traveler, among others … The tablet will include a new recommendation engine via widgets on the home screen that will serve up app, book, or movie options. If you’re not interested, just dismiss it. Google promised that the recommendations will become smarter over time, the more you watch, listen, or read.”

French Publishers Drop Google Book Scanning Lawsuit

The French Publishers’ Association has reached a deal with Google Books which will allow Google to scan copies of out-of-print texts. According to a report in The New York Times,

Google has agreed to work with French authors and publishers to set up a way for them to sell these eBooks through Google Books.

Here is more from The New York Times: “The deal is modeled on agreements that Google struck separately with two leading French publishers, Hachette and La Martinière. Under all of these agreements, the publishers retain control over many conditions of the book-scanning project, including which titles are made available.” Read more

Google Wants Authors To Drop Book Scan Suit

Google wants the Authors Guild to drop their bookscanning lawsuit against them. Yesterday, the company told U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan that the guild cannot represent “the owners of book’s copyrights.”

Bloomberg has the story: “Google said in court papers that because the guild doesn’t claim to own the copyrights at issue, it can’t sue on behalf of authors. Google’s lawyer also said today that the company’s scanning project has been an ‘economic benefit’ to many authors.”

The Author’s Guild, who has filed a class action lawsuit against Google seeking statutory damages on behalf of the authors who wrote the millions of books scanned into Google’s digital library, stands by their suit. Bloomberg has more: “‘It would be a terrible burden on the court if each individual author was forced to litigate,’ Joanne Zack, a lawyer for the Authors Guild, told the judge. ‘A class action is superior.’”

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