Saturday, September 13, 2008

Searching inside the books

Have you ever been frustrated by not being able to find a specific quote that you're looking for in one of the OUTLANDER books? If so, here's something that may be useful to you:

Amazon.com's "Search inside this Book" function lets you type in a keyword and search the entire text of the book for all references to that keyword. It works better for single words than for phrases, but I've found it to be quite accurate. And in the case of the OUTLANDER books, it can be quite a time-saver, when the alternative is to try leafing through 900+ pages by hand!

Here are the "Search inside this book" pages for the OUTLANDER books:

OUTLANDER

DRAGONFLY IN AMBER

VOYAGER

DRUMS OF AUTUMN

THE FIERY CROSS

OUTLANDISH COMPANION

Unfortunately, ABOSAA and the Lord John books are not yet searchable. I asked Diana about this on Compuserve a few months ago, and she showed no interest in contacting either her agent or the publisher to get them to follow up on it. (Well, she is awfully busy....) Still, we'll take what we can get.

I hope you find these links as useful as I have. They don't (apparently) work for everybody, but it's probably worth a try. And if you have more search tips, feel free to share them.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Karen! I'll use this when I'm looking up all the references to songs! And congrats on the blog! Cathy

Diane M. said...

I love this feature on Amazon. I knew about the Search Inside feature on Amazon, and had even used on occasion, but it had never occurred to me to use it this way until you mentioned it on CompuServe. Since, then I have used it frequently. It's verra handy when trying to find a passage in a 1000 page book!

Even though I think Diana probably pull with the publishers to get the other books active with this feature, I think it may be up to the publisher. I'm not sure about that...

Mitzi said...

A very handy tool indeed!! I had no idea this existed on Amazon until you mentioned it on Compuserve and now I use it all the time. I'm glad you asked the question about when ABOSAA will be searchable. I've been wondering about that for a long time as was just about to post a message at LOL to see if anyone there knew when it might come on line.

Thanks for the info.

Mitzi

Karen Henry said...

Mitzi:

I wouldn't hold your breath on that if I were you, unfortunately. The reaction I got from Diana (and this was back in February of this year, I think) was that she did not want to be responsible for following up with the publisher or Amazon to see that it got done, that the other books somehow had been made searchable without her intervention and so ABOSAA and the Lord John books no doubt will too, eventually.

Kind of an unsatisfying answer, if you ask me, but the tone of it made it pretty clear that pestering her about it wasn't going to do us any good. So I won't bring it up again, not this year, anyway.

Karen

Mitzi said...

Thanks Karen

Won't mention it again. I certainly don't want to pester her and I'd rather she concentrate all her efforts on writing Echo in any case.

Mitzi

Janellybelly said...

Karen
Thanks for the Search inside links, I have added them to my favourites. My books are packed for moving house in 2 weeks, & I miss them terribly! Reading excerpts from Search inside is the next best thing - as well as having a 'Outlander' concordance.
Janelle N