Making Your Book More Discoverable in Google’s Online Platforms


In the digital world, being discoverable means everything.  As today’s consumers are looking for immediate options when they search online, it is more important than ever to have a presence in valuable platforms, such as Google Books and Google Play. After all, Google’s commanding 40% share of Internet traffic gives you an even better chance of reaching a global audience who are interested in titles just like yours.

To get your work out there—and make it more discoverable—Elsevier partners with Google to enhance discovery and readership through Google Books and Google Play.

While these two valuable platforms can work hand-in-hand to help sell and promote your book, they serve two different functions. Google Books is a search platform specifically for books, while Google Play is a retail platform where consumers can purchase eBooks to download and read from their computer or mobile devices.

We work with Google Books to index and make your book available for preview to interested readers and buyers, and with Google Play to ensure that anyone can purchase your eBook on that platform. Here’s how each of these valuable platforms help get the word out on your titles.

Google Books and Google Preview

All of our eBook content is available on Google Books, ensuring your content is discoverable on this important channel. On Google Books, interested readers can view some of the book’s content using Google Preview.

In addition, there are also options to purchase books in electronic and print formats, and potential buyers can learn more by reading your book’s detailed description and  by accessing reviews from other readers, essentially giving them everything they need to  make an informed purchasing decision.


Custom User Content is Key

Google Preview content is derived from epub files supplied directly by Elsevier. Google’s proprietary algorithm uses customer data to determine the content that displays for each user, basing it on prior search history and customizing the content returned to each visitor’s specific interests.

Due to the automated nature of the sample selection, publishers are not able to request that a specific section be displayed, or that a larger or smaller percent of the text be made available.

By providing the epub file to Google Preview, the full text of the book is indexed and searchable, thus improving the discoverability of your title. For example, if a visitor types “biology of zebrafish” into search and your book contains sections that speak directly to that topic, they would typically see that as part of their preview, hence making your book more appealing for purchase.

Our relationship with Google Preview makes it possible to include the preview for Google Books and Google Play users. In addition, we can embed the preview in places like our own store website, so that users can browse the content before making a purchase. Elsevier has been actively participating in this program since 2004.


  • Fully integrated with Google search – This provides users with direct access to your book within basic search queries. From your book’s Google Books webpage, users can view your book’s cover image, book description, and search inside its pages.

Google Play


As we do with Google Books, we make all of our eBooks available for viewing and purchase on Google Play. Google Play makes key details from the book available, including its description and key features, author information, and access information, including eBook features and the formats available. Readers are also able to access and write reviews of the content that are featured on the Google Play product page for each book.

  • Standard retail application on all Android devices – This application allows consumers to purchase your book in eBook format as part of their Google Play library. Consumers simply search Google Play for your book and download it anytime on their computer or mobile device.


By making your book available through the above channels, we aim to increase discoverability, awareness, readership, and purchases from the most targeted audiences. We continue to carefully assess new avenues that enhance discoverability through new channels with our partners, always looking for opportunities that will further the reach of your title’s visibility in an ever-evolving marketplace.

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