Thursday, August 14, 2008

Unified Search Engine for eBooks

Failing to find an isomorph to pricerunner for eBooks, I have started my own pet project on this. I started out by collecting email addresses to the eBook sellers i found from the Wiki page at Some sellers (of course) had no email address, but some lovely amusing forms which had lovely obligatory fields and some toppled this with hilarious obligatory registration before you could contact them.

The idea is basically that each eBook seller creates their own API which should follow some unifies guidelines, like: Using POST method, you should be able to post some server of theirs, requesting a lookup. They reply in a unified XML format which is stitched together by a simple page (with some bells and whistles).

This has just begun, and I am sure a lot of people will have valuable suggestions and comment. This is a copy of the request/email sent to all the sellers.


Over at we are discussing the possibility of a (free to use) unifying eBook search engine
which would allow a user to search all possible ebook stores and list the results with regard to price and availability.
Something along the lines of price runner etc.

Are you interested in this? Would you consider to produce a web-based API for your database which would be usable for
this so that someone could create a search tool / site for the named purpose? If you are interested, your API should
be fully documented and be usable through the standard HTML methods like POST. The replies should be in a well formed
XML format. I will be the spider in the net, so to say (no pun intended) for now.

This email is not only sent to you, I have also sent this to the others listed below (yes, your
name is there also), If you who receive this email is not the person which can take this kind of decision, then
please make sure it gets to the right person. Also only reply to my email address: (--not shown here--) with
the Subject: "Unified search engine", it will make it easier for me to organize this.
Diesel Ebooks
Book Habit
Taylor & Francis
WHSmith eBooks
BLTC Press
Books On Board
Club Lighthouse Publishing
Ebooks about everything
Powell's Books

Ps. Some of your names may be misspelled, I apologize for this.

I have also announced this on the mobileread forums

For those of you wondering what this has to do with optimization; it's a search optimization for the individual. ;)


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