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Google begins testing new book service with publishers

LONDON – Google has quietly begun testing a new service, dubbed Google Print, with publishing firms, which will pull together reviews and excepts from novels.

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The service is currently in beta testing and has only come to light after users started noticing the results in their searches on the website.

Google says that the test service is looking at how the internet search firm can work with book publishers and how it might possibly generate revenue.

Susan Wojcicki, director of product management at Google, said: "Google Print is consistent with what we've been doing since Google first started. We believe one of the ways we can offer a better experience for our users is to crawl a richer set of information."

She added: "Reaching out to publishers is just another way we are trying to improve our user experience."

One of the possibilities being looked at is Google playing host to electronic texts for publishers.

It represents the latest effort of publishers to look at how they might deal with the digital world.

Publishers have in the past dallied with e-books, but the market for these, while growing, is limited. Publishers are also concerned about piracy, worried that entire texts might find their way on to the internet.

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