Sometimes linking to the search results page for an author or title on Google Books isn't enough -- you want to link to a specific book or perhaps even a specific edition of a book. To help you with this, you can click the chain icon from within a book you're viewing to generate a link that you can share with others.
Google Books can also retrieve books based on International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCNs), and Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) record numbers. Most books published after about 1970 have ISBNs. To find a book's ISBN, search for it on Google Books and look on its "About this Book" page. For older books you may need to rely on LCCN or OCLC records.
For example, perhaps you want to link to The Prince by Machiavelli. While the book was originally published in 1532, the edition you want to link to was printed in 1988 and has an ISBN of 0521349931. You can search directly for an ISBN by visiting the following URL:
Similarly, you can find books by inserting the LCCN or OCLC number into the appropriate URL:
ISBN | http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0521349931
OCLC | http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC17546826
LCCN | http://books.google.com/books?vid=LCCN88005048
For some books, Google also provides the ability to link to specific pages of the book. (If the specific page cannot be found, the link will simply go to the "About this book" page.) Add the appropriate parameter to the book URL, as per the examples below:
Front cover | http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC17546826&printsec=frontcover
Title page | http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC17546826&printsec=titlepage
If a book is determined to be in the public domain, Google will make it available for full view. You'll be able read the book from start to finish. Otherwise, you'll still be able to search through the text of the book, but Google Books will only display a few snippets to show you where your search term appears, along with a few sentences of context. If the book appears to be useful to you, you can find a print copy by using the retailer or library links
For typical searches, typing in a keyword will provide a list of relevant books. Google Books will match the keyword against the book's bibliographic information (e.g., title, author, etc.) as well as its full text. For a more precise search, use the Advanced Search option.
The Advanced Search page is written in easy to understand language as you can see in this illustration.
Google Books can also retrieve books based on certain identifying numbers associated with a book: ISBN, LCCN, and OCLC record numbers. Most books published after about 1970 have ISBNs. To find a book's ISBN, search for it on Google Books and look on its "About this Book" page. For older books you may need to rely on LCCN or OCLC records.
ISBN: International Standard Book Numbers
LCCN: Library of Congress Control Numbers
OCLC: Online Computer Library Center