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How to Use the Google Play Store

The Google Play Store is one of the largest and most popular sources for online media today. It contains movies, TV shows, audiobooks, electronic books, smartphone applications and games, all available to download.

How to Access the Google Play Store

In order to access the Google Play Store, you need to first create a Google login (if you don’t have one already). This login will give you access to all the different services available through Google, including an email service, online file storage and of course the Google Play Store. Once logged in, you can set up an account to pay for content that is not available for free, and manage your paid subscription services that you can access through the store. Although there is some content available for free, most of the content that is available needs to be paid for or requires a subscription.

Movies and TV

The Google Play Store enables you to access a huge number of movies and TV shows that can be downloaded onto your computer, smartphone or tablet. This includes everything from the newest movie and TV releases to old classics. Due to the size of the database, you can usually search the store and find exactly what you’re looking for. Movie and TV content can either be rented for a 24-hour period or downloaded directly onto your device. The download price is always higher because you now own the content and will always have the ability to watch it.

If you are looking for electronic or audiobooks, the Google Play Store has you covered. They have a massive collection of electronic books available for download, and the latest audiobook releases. All categories you would find in your local bookstore are available for download, including types of books you may not think of being available online, like textbooks, children’s books and comic books. Unlike the movie and TV section, content is either free or available for purchase in the book section, with no opportunity to rent in most cases.

Google Devices

The store also give you access to all the different smartphones, tablets and computers made by Google. Clicking on the devices tab will take you to the store, where you can find all of these electronics, in addition to the Nest line of home electronics, and all the Google home products.

No online entertainment store would be complete without access to a music library, and the Google Play Store music section does not disappoint. The latest singles and full albums are available for download to any device. Users can also access the extensive library of older music that has been digitized into Mp3 format for easy download. In the music section you can also sign up for the online subscription service called Google Play Music. For a monthly fee, you can access all the content available through the store via streaming through the application. This service does not give you ownership of the music you are listening to, but as long as you have an internet connection, you have access to all their content for a monthly fee.

The Google Play Store is an amazing resource for online entertainment. Once you’re logged in and have an account set up, it’s all available to rent or buy.


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How to Publish on Google Play Books in 2023

Google is the world’s leading search engine, as you probably already know. A lesser-known part of Google is its very own online bookstore — Google Play Books — which is integrated within the broader Google Play store.

If you’re one of the 2.5 billion people who own an Android device, you’ll know what we’re talking about. Google Play is the place to download or purchase apps, games, music, movies, and, well, books to use on your Android devices.

And that’s exactly why Google Play Books is such an important place for any author to be nowadays: it allows you to easily reach those billions of people in the world who own Android devices.

A brief history of Google Play Books

That said, Google Play wasn’t always a great place for indie authors. Up until early 2020, you couldn’t actually get your books into the Google Play Books store without first going through an “approval period” and (sometimes) a waiting list.

More than that, the lucky authors who did manage to get into the store would often see their titles get automatically discounted by Google Play, without prior warning. This move would trigger price-matching from Amazon (and other retailers), often without the author realizing it in the first place.

Of course, many indie authors found workarounds to avoid any such discount. They used complicated formulas to figure out how that auto-discounting worked and priced their book higher on Google Play to make up for it. Overall, though, the clunkiness of the system outweighed its benefits for most authors.

Enter 2020. The year will probably be remembered for other somber things, but it also marks the moment that Google Play Books finally opened its doors, in a big way, to indie authors.

Now, it’s easier than ever to create a new publisher account. No approval periods anymore: you can just create your account, set up your book, and upload it to the store — with just a few easy clicks.

Gone are the times of the widespread auto-discounting too. As of October 2020, Google Play Books will “unilaterally follow the list price that you provide for an ebook on sales to customers in the United States and Canada,” no matter the price of the ebook .

Note: Google Play obviously still reserves the right to “price-match” your book if they see a lower price available elsewhere, just like most other retailers.

All in all, this means that (unless you’re exclusive to Amazon through KDP Select) there is no reason anymore not to have your books on Google Play. On the contrary, you have everything to gain: Google Play even offers better royalties than Amazon (70% vs 35%), and charges no delivery fees, on books priced below $2.99 or above $9.99!

So let’s see exactly how you can achieve that!

How to publish your book on Google Play in 7 easy steps

As we mentioned, Google Play has removed their indeterminate “approval periods” and waiting lists for creating new publisher accounts. But here’s what you can also get excited about: they’ve also redesigned their whole publishing system, and made it easier than ever to publish on Google Play Books.

publishing books on google play


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As with any other publishing platform, it all starts with:

Step 1: Create your Google Play Partner account

how to publish on google play 1

Note that you’ll need an associated Google account. If you use Gmail, you’re golden. If not, you’ll have to create a Google account.

Step 2: Enter your financial information

Simple: you’ll want Google Play to be able to pay you your royalties. So the first thing you’ll need to do is enter your payment and tax information, and link your bank account.

Note: it can take up to 12 days for Google to review and activate your account. To avoid disappointment, be sure to set up your book at least two weeks in advance.

Step 3: Create your first book

Next, click on “Add your first book” in the dashboard. The decision that you’ll face now is:

how to publish on google play 3

If you publish on Google Play, your book will automatically get a page with a preview on Google Books, so you should only select “Offer a preview on Google Books only” if you do not want to publish and sell your book on the Google Play store. (For example, if you’re in KDP Select but still want your book to be indexed in the Google Books library, picking that option wouldn’t break KDP Select’s terms.)

Once you click on “Sell ebook on Google Play,” you’ll be prompted to select your book’s “ID,” i.e. ISBN number. If you have an ISBN , you can enter it. If you don’t, just select the “Get a Google Book ID” option — it’s free.

Step 4: Fill in your books’ metadata

The metadata process on Google Play Books is divided into four steps:

Let’s go through them in order.

About the book If you’ve already published your book elsewhere, then this part should be pretty quick! You can just paste in your title, subtitle, book description, series title, etc.

If it’s the first time that you’re publishing the book and you haven’t written the description (or blurb) yet, then make sure you read our post on how to write a book blurb . As you’ll soon see, the search on the Google Play store works in a way that gives particular importance to titles, subtitles, and descriptions — so you might want to optimize those specifically for Google Play.

If you want your book to be published immediately, leave the “On-sale date” field blank. If you’re publishing a pre-order, then make sure to fill it in with the date on which your book will launch.

One last thing on the “About the book” page: Google gives you the opportunity to “add a related book” at the bottom. This is a great chance to link your book with other ones, even if they’re not in the series (i.e. an anthology, a box set, or another series in the same universe).

how to publish on google play 7

Genres This is where Google Play is very different from other stores. First, it doesn’t limit you in the number of genre categories you can select. Moreover, it lets you select any category from the BISAC (North America) or BIC (UK and Australia) systems:

So you should spend a good amount of time to make sure you find and select all the categories that are relevant to your book. Categories play an important role in Google’s search algorithms, so this will be time well-spent.

Contributors The next page is pretty straightforward: this is where you can put in your author name and author bio. You can also add in other contributors to your book, such as editors, illustrators, translators, ghostwriters, etc.

Preview settings Here’s another place where Google gives you more control than its peers. You can select how much of the book readers will be able to preview using Google Play’s “Look Inside” feature (note, though, that 20% is the minimum):

publishing books on google play

You can also choose the amount of text that they can copy-paste (or set it to 0%), as well as opt in/out of DRM encryption.

If one of your goals is to optimize your book’s presence on Google Books’ search (the index we mentioned in step 3), then make sure to click on “Show advanced settings” and fill those fields in.

publishing books on google play

Step 5: Upload your book and cover files

This part should be pretty straightforward. You’ll just need to have your files on hand, specifically:

To learn more about Google Play’s expected file types and specs, read this support article .

Now, a really cool thing about Google Play is that, once your files have been processed and accepted, you can add in “Content Reviewers” simply by entering their email addresses. Doing this will basically grant early access to your book for free, which makes this a great way to share ARC copies with beta readers or reviewers.

This is something you can do even after you’ve finished this setup, and while there are some requirements for Content Reviewers (e.g. they must have a Google account), most people should meet them. You can learn more about this handy feature here .

Step 6: Set your book’s price

Google Play Books gives you the opportunity to set different prices for different regions — and in different currencies. To make sure your book is attractively priced in each currency, you should definitely take advantage of this feature.

For example, the below setup will price your book at £0.99 in the UK & Ireland, at €0.99 in the Eurozone, and at $0.99 everywhere else.

publishing books on google play

Note that the “additional settings” allow you to make these prices temporary — which can be handy if you want to offer promotional pricing at launch.

Step 7: Review and publish

You’re almost there! The only thing left to do is to make sure you’ve entered everything correctly, swallow that fear and anticipation, and hit that magical “Publish” button.

This is also a good moment to go back to step 5 — your files should be processed by now — and add in your “Content Reviewers” just before you publish.

Six tips to boost your Google Play sales

Of course, publishing the book is the easy bit. Getting it to sell — now, that’s another story. So we decided to reach out to the Google Play Books team itself, as well as two high-selling authors on the Google Play store, to get some marketing tips directly from them.

Note that most of these tips are exclusive to the Google Play platform, so they don’t constitute a proper, cross-retailer marketing plan.

Instead, our aim is to help you understand how the Google Play store and its algorithms work, so that you can leverage their specificities to boost your sales on that platform.

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1. Don’t jump in and out of exclusivity

This is the very first thing that both the Google Play Books team and the authors we consulted told us (and this tip can actually be applied to pretty much any non-Amazon retailer). If you’re constantly opting in and out of KDP Select — and taking your books in and out from wide retailers — you seriously harm your chances of getting any sales on these wide retailers.

Note: if you don’t know what we mean by “exclusivity” and “wide,” you need to read this article on KDP Select .

But it goes even deeper in the case of Google Play. In the words of the Google Play Books team:

“Nearly all of Google Play Books’ merchandising is driven by an algorithm. As a result, every reader sees a different personalized bookstore. If books are removed from the store, it disrupts the algorithm’s learning about those titles and eliminates the opportunity for those titles to be recommended. More time in the store and more lifetime sales translates to higher discoverability.”

2. Leverage metadata intelligently

If you’re familiar with other publishing platforms , you’ll probably have spotted the one thing that seems to be missing from Google Play’s process: keywords .

At no point does Google Play ask you for meta keywords to describe your book. On the other hand, Google Play lets you select as many categories as you want. So you need to leverage the categories to replace the keywords you would use on other stores.

For instance, let’s say you use the keywords “vampire,” “19th century,” and “gaslamp” on Amazon. You can get your book to show up for these keywords on Google Play by selecting the following BISAC categories:

Of course, this isn’t always going to be possible, as some niche keywords won’t have an associated category. As an example, “weird west” (or “western fantasy”) is a reasonably popular keyword that doesn’t have a dedicated BISAC category.

In such cases, you have two options:

If you do work in keywords into your book description, make sure to do so in a natural way. In other words, don’t keyword-dump! This might hurt the conversion of your book page more than it will augment its visibility.

3. Run a discount promotion

This is naturally a tip that will work for any book on any store. But it tends to be even more effective on Google Play (a less crowded store than Amazon).

First, Google makes it extra easy to schedule a price promotion in advance via the “Promotions” section of the Partner Center. If you take advantage of that — instead of just manually lowering a book’s list price in the metadata — it will trigger a strikethrough of your title’s list prices in the store.

More importantly, discounted books tend to get extra visibility on the Google Play store, as the shop homepage (customized to every reader based on their previous activity) tends to feature several sections specifically for discounted books. Here’s an example:

publishing books on google play

In the words of the Google Play team:

"When a publisher discounts their book on Google Play Books, the book becomes eligible for additional in-store merchandising and customer notifications. This doesn’t mean that every book will receive every promotion, but this discount significantly increases the book’s likelihood of receiving more promotion in the storefront.  These discount promotions are driven by our algorithm and can include: Appearance in a collection highlighting discounted titles, including relevant genre collections Targeted in-app notifications and emails to customers that have wishlisted or sampled that title"

4. Leverage Google Play promo codes

On top of running a discount promotion, you can also use Google Play's "promo codes" feature to offer an  exclusive special deal to some of your readers. 

There are three types of promo codes you can generate for Google Play:

Now, the free codes will obviously not make you any money if they’re redeemed. But for the percentage off and fixed price promotion codes, the author will earn the usual 70% royalty on the final price of the ebook (after discount). So if you run a fixed price promo code campaign where readers can grab the ebook at $0.50, you’d earn $0.35 by promo code redeem.

More importantly, promo code redeems on Google Play have a direct impact on rank algorithms . As confirmed to me by the Google Play team via email:

“Percentage and fixed price promo code redemptions are sales as the customer purchases the book. They are treated like any other book sale in our store, which always impacts our algorithm. Free promo code redemptions are treated the same as free downloads in our store. They have a small impact on our algorithm.”

This makes Google Play promo codes extremely attractive, and a great tool to boost your sales on the store.

5. Use a free series starter

Speaking of sections that tend to be prominently featured on homepages, here’s one that you won’t find on any other store:

publishing books on google play

Spoiler alert: it presents a huge opportunity for series authors . In the words of Charlotte Byrd , one of the authors we consulted for this post:

“The one thing that I recently did that I have never done before was take 3 of my first-in-series free. I got a Bookbub , which I never got before, I decided to make 2 others series starters free along with it during this difficult time. I have seen my sales increase significantly as a result (not just as a result of the Bookbub, even before that promotion went through). I have very strong read through and with having the first book free, I am seeing a number of my books in the catalog appear on Google Play charts and stay there. That’s another thing that I really like about Google Play: the books have a lot more stickability on the charts than on other platforms.”

Another bonus of using free books as “loss leaders” for a series? Free downloads actually count towards the Google Play charts and algorithms — granting them a lot more visibility than on Amazon.

6. Sign up for the Google Play affiliate program

Want to make an additional 7% commission on ebooks and audiobooks sold on Google Play? Just sign up for the Google Play Books affiliate program . It’s free to join and currently available for active partners. If your Google Play Books partner account is eligible, you'll find a link to the affiliate sign-up form on the homepage of your Partner Center.

This is not only a way to make a few extra bucks, it’s also great for advertising! If you run Facebook ads targeting Google Play readers (yep, that’s possible), you can use affiliate links to your books and know exactly how many sales your ads are generating.

publishing books on google play


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If you follow all the steps in this post and take advantage of these Google Play-specific marketing tips, you should be well on your way to turning your Google Play sales into a solid income stream. The redesign of Google Play Books shows that Google is finally placing some real importance on book sales, which means that it might be ready to grow enough to be a real challenger to Amazon. Getting in early (right now!) might be a smart move for your writing career!

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How to sell books on Google Play

We offer a base of users and an easy way to manage your content. You can sell your book both on Google Play and through other retailers. There is no cost for you to sell books on Google Play. You receive the majority of the revenue from each sale, and your revenue share will always be based on the list price you provide.

Learn more about the security of our content.

Important: Google Play partners can sell eBooks in certain countries/regions . These features aren't available everywhere. At this time, only select partners can sell audiobooks on Google Play.

How it works for publishers & authors

You provide the book files.

Join the Google Books Partner Program to submit books. We accept files in either .pdf  or .epub format. If you upload both formats, readers will have a choice between the original layout of the PDF file and the text of the EPUB file.

You choose the book settings

Manage your books and sales settings in the Google Play Books Partner Center . Choose the countries where you want to sell, choose whether to apply Digital Rights Management (DRM), and provide list prices. Except in cases where Google is acting as your agent or where Google is required to sell at a price set by the publisher, Google has the discretion to set prices. However, we'll share the revenue from any sales with you according to the list price that you provide.

Google handles hosting, sales, and distribution

Your books are sold on Google Play , a digital content experience available internationally on multiple platforms. A limited percentage of your book will be available for preview on Google Books. You can download detailed preview and sales reports , and you receive a majority of the revenue from each sale.

How it works for buyers

Readers can find your books by browsing the Google Play store , or by following a link from the book's preview on Google Books . When they purchase your book, they can read it in their Web browser, or use the Google Play Books app. Readers can also transfer the book to supported eReaders . Learn more about the reader experience with Google Play Books .

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue, want a quicker way to get help.

Chat with a member of the Google Books team.

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7 Steps to Self-Publishing on Google Play Books in 2022

To self-publish a book is a great option for those who want to get their book (and name) out there. This might sound a little scary if you’ve never self-published a book, but we can assure you it's easier than you think. With different publishing platforms like Google Play Books, Barnes & Noble, Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, and many more, you'll be able to get your book on digital shelves in no time.

There are many ways to self-publish and sell books in 2022. With technology taking control, ebooks seem to be the way to go! We have explored a few different platforms for this, and Google Play Books came out on top every time. It's very user-friendly for both publishers and readers, anyone with an android device can use it; and you can reach many potential readers. They also have a few very useful tools you can use, which we will discuss later in this article.

How to self publish a book on Google Play - Sell my ebook on Google Play

Although there is a specific app called Google Books, this app is only for a book preview and does not give readers access to the full book. Complete ebooks are sold on the Google Play Store, which is easy to navigate. This makes it easily accessible and a very attractive option not just for self-published authors, but also for potential readers.

What You Need to Think About

There are a few things you need to think about before you can publish your own book.

Do You Already Have a Book?

This is the most basic requirement. For you to self-publish a book, you need to have one already. Don’t worry if you have an idea but you're not that great at putting your thoughts together in a logical manner. We've got you! Head to our services and hire one of our wordsmiths to do their magic.

If you don't have a book ready and no ideas have come to mind, look at what is available and where there might still be a need. Have a look at a few of our blog posts if you need more inspiration.

Hard Copy or Ebook?

Now that the book is sorted, you need to decide whether you want to publish your book in a hard copy or as an ebook. Remember that you can always convert and publish a hard copy after the ebook has already been published.

There are pros and cons to both hard copies and ebooks. If you would prefer to publish a hard copy, check out the services we offer for this here , which include everything from hiring a ghostwriter, editing, creating book cover designs, and formatting it properly for a hard copy. Self-publishing a hard copy takes a little more work, time, and money.

For this article, we'll specifically focus on ebooks.

Using a Publishing Platform

As mentioned earlier, there are a few publishing platforms that you can use to get your books published. This includes Kindle Direct Publishing which publishes on Kindle Unlimited or the Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble , and of course, Google Play Books and the Google Play Store. For some of these, you may need to download apps to read the ebooks, depending on the book format.

Google Books is an amazing platform to use and is available to all android users. Avid book readers with android devices love using Google Books to find new material to delve into.

You need to find a publishing platform that meets your needs before you commit. Here is a quick video on self-publishing on Google Play Books and why you should consider it:

Aspects You Should Consider

These are common things that authors tend to forget or feel are unnecessary and regret later on. Learn from others' mistakes and avoid them to ensure that you have the best possible success with your book. Here are some things that are quite important to include in the process.

Make Sure the Cover Image Is Amazing

Your book cover image is the first thing potential readers will see, and like it or not, most people judge a book by its cover. To ensure that book sales are at their best, the cover image should be phenomenal and provide a preview of what the reader can expect from the book.

If the cover attracts someone to the book, there is a greater chance that they will have a closer look at it. Make sure that the cover speaks to the demographic of readers you have in mind and that it will catch their eye immediately.

Publish on Google Books - Google self publishing - Google play books publish

Hire an Editor

Whether you are the world's best author or you are barely starting out, hiring an editor is of utmost importance. An editor will be a fresh pair of eyes that can read through everything and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your book is consumable for your potential readers. There are different kinds of editors, such as general editors, who look at the general structure and writing style, and line editors or copyeditors, who check on spelling and grammar.

You might have heard a few stories about editors changing the author's voice or not taking their suggestions into account, but the key is to find the right editor for the job. Sometimes, we tend to write things from our perspectives, and it would make sense, but the editor (as an outsider) will be able to identify these weak sections in your book and help you improve them.

At The Urban Writers, all our packages include a ghostwriter and an editor to ensure standards are adhered to. We also offer other services if you choose to self-write your book, so be sure to check out our various packages when you're ready.

Believe In Your Own Work

You worked hard to get your book to this point. Just because you're not using a publishing company to publish and distribute your book, does not mean that it's not a real book.

This is your handiwork, and you did it so well! You just decided to take matters into your own hands and control absolutely everything related to your own book. So, believe in your book. It is a real book, and it will change lives.

Consider Buying a Barcode or ISBN, Even for Ebooks

If you are considering publishing a hard copy later on, it's important to consider buying an ISBN or barcode for your book. Find out more at .

Self-publishing an ebook on the Google Play Books store is much easier than you think!

Self publish Google Books - Sell books on Google Play - Publish book on Google Play

How to Publish Ebook on Google Play Store

By following these easy steps, you will become a self-published author in no time! Here is a step-by-step guide to the publishing process.

Step 1: Set Up a Google Play Partner Account

To create a Google Play partner account, you need to have an existing Google account.

Simply click "Get Started" on the Google Play Books Partner Center page and fill in your personal information to create an account. This will be your publishing account for all ebooks that you want to publish on the Google Play Books store.

Step 2: Make Sure You Get Paid Royalties

This is your payment profile. You need to ensure that your bank account information and tax information are linked to your partner account to get paid by Google Play Books every time one of your books is sold. The Google Play team might take up to 12 days to review your bank account information and approve your account. Try to have everything in order by the time they approve it.

If you receive an error message at any point, be sure to reach out to the Google Support Team.

Step 3: Create a Space for Your Book

You will now be able to access the dashboard where you can add your first book. When you click on "Add your first book" you will have the option to choose whether you want to only add a preview of your book on Google Books or whether you want to publish it on Google Play and put it up for sale.

If you choose the latter, a preview will automatically be added to Google Books.

If you choose to sell your book on Google Play Books, you can either enter the existing ISBN number for your book (if you have one), or you can ask Google Play to give you one. It's called a Google Book ID and is free to receive.

Step 4: Add the Logistics

Now, you need to complete the metadata for your book. This includes the following:

About the book: In this section, you need to include the book title, subtitle, and book description. With The Urban Writers packages, you can ask to include a book description written by a copywriter. There is also an "on-sale date" field. Only complete this if you want to place your book for sale from a specific date. If you want book sales to start immediately, leave this field blank. Another option that Google Books offers is to add a related book linked to the book you're about to publish on Google Play. It doesn't have to be directly related, i.e., part of a series. You can add any book you may have already published if you have one. You will also list the price for your book in this section.

Genres: Google Play has a wide variety of genres you can choose from, and you can assign multiple genres to your ebook on Google Play. You have multiple categories you can choose from, which include the BIC (the UK and Australia) and BISAC (North America) systems. This is something quite unique to Google Play as most other retailers limit the number of genres you can choose. Make sure that you select all the genres that are applicable to your book to optimize ebook sales, as the genres are used in the algorithm and form part of the search tool.

Contributors: This page is dedicated to everyone who contributed to the success of your book. You only need to list the author's name and can include a short bio. If you'd like, you can also add anyone else who may have contributed, such as illustrators, editors, etc.

Preview settings: This is where you can choose how much of your book potential readers can see and copy or paste. This is also unique to Google Books, as most competitors have a default setting. The minimum you can share is 20%, and the minimum copy/paste limit is 0%. It also includes a DRM encryption option which you can opt in or out of. Under preview settings, you will also have the option to optimize your book on Google Play by clicking on the "show advanced settings" option and completing those fields. Here you can change a number of settings, including whether a PDF download should be allowed, whether the preview should be available before the sale date, and whether photos should be shown in the preview, to name a few.

Step 5: Upload Your Book and Cover Image

For this step, you simply need to upload the relevant files, which include the cover files, an ePub file or PDF document, and a back cover if you want to add one. Google Play Books only accepts certain file formats with specifications on the ePub files, so check out their requirements here .

Once this has been done, Google Play offers a service where you can share a link with some beta readers to give them free access to your book on Google Play for a limited time. You just need to enter their email addresses, and they will become " Content Reviewers ." They need to have a Gmail account in order to qualify.

Step 6: Pick a Price

Another great feature of Google Play Books is the fact that you can choose different prices in different currencies based on region. You also have the option to sell ebooks at a special launch price by modifying the options under " show additional settings."

Make sure that book prices are competitive in nature to make book marketing on Google Play easier.

Step 7: Check and Publish!

This is the moment you've been waiting for. Review your information (especially your bank account) and click "Publish"!

Congratulations on publishing your ebook on Google Play! It's that easy to get your book published.

If you need a little more help to get going, you can download your free copy of our self-publishing checklist here .

Boosting Book Sales on Google Play

How you market your book will determine whether you will make any money or not. You can't just list your ebook on Google Books or publish it on Google Play and expect that word will get out without you doing anything. You need a foolproof book marketing strategy to boost ebook sales. Let's look at a few things you should include in your marketing plan.

These tips are specifically formulated for ebooks on Google Play and might not be as effective with other retailers.

Use Metadata to Your Advantage

One of the shortfalls of Google Books and Google Play is the fact that you can't select or add any meta keywords to describe your book. However, you are able to add as many genres as you want when publishing. You can use this feature to your advantage to optimize your ebook on Google Books.

Most of the keywords used on other platforms are available as genres on Google Books, except for a select few. If the keyword you are looking for is not on the list of genres, you can always add it as part of the subtitle for your ebook or as part of the book description. In both cases, the algorithm will serve your book if that specific keyword is searched for.

You can always test whether your book comes up by using a non-filtered search and only using general search terms.

Offer Google Play Promo Codes

Google Play Books offers various promo codes that you can utilize to attract readers. There are three types of codes that you can generate:

Fixed price promotion: This allows readers to purchase books at a fixed price that is lower than the price listed.

*10% off: With this code, a reader receives a percentage discount on the final listed price.

Free: This is quite an obvious one. This code makes the book free. Everybody loves free Google ebooks!

The last option won't bring in any cash, but for the first two, you will still receive 70% of the final price as royalties. What is great about these promotional codes is that every sale with them will still count as a sale, meaning that your ebook will move up in the algorithm.

Don't Jump Ship

When you publish your book on Google Play, keep your book on Google Play. Removing it from the book catalogue and publishing it somewhere else or republishing it on Google Play will interfere with the algorithm.

The Google Play Books Store is personalized for every reader based on their preferences and general search history. When books are removed from the library, this interferes with the books shown through the algorithm. The longer your book stays in the library and the more sales you make, the more it will pop up in others' libraries. So make sure that you keep your book in there as long as possible!

Run a Google Books Promotion

A great way to generate interest in your book on Google Play is a discount book promotion. This can be scheduled in advance using the tools in the Google Play Partner Center. By using this functionality, the list price for your eBook will be crossed out and replaced with an updated price for everyone to see so they can purchase your book at a discounted price.

Discounted titles are normally featured on the shop homepage for specific users based on search terms they have used previously.

You can also change the price in the metadata. However, this will not show that the book is on promotion. It won't be a complete waste, though, as people always look at books priced a little lower than others.

Use Different Marketing Avenues

If you are active on social media platforms, use these platforms to promote and sell your ebook. Many have found great success by linking their books to a blog post. Make sure that you include the book title in the post.

You can also use others' social media platforms or pay to have your book featured on other websites.

That's all you need to know in a nutshell about publishing your own ebook. It's as easy as that. It might seem like a daunting process in the beginning, but we hope with our guidance and the excellent services offered by The Urban Writers, you'll find it much easier to cross that line.

For even more content and assistance, be sure to check out all our blogs related to publishing here . There is a very good article on how to self-publish .

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Contact us at [email protected] and one of our dedicated Customer Support and Success Representatives will reach out to you. We would love to answer any questions you have or provide additional information. We are looking forward to collaborating with you!

How to Publish on Google Play Books in 2023 [Two Possible Options]

how to publish on google play books

Almost every search query on the internet is performed on Google. For any question we have or any book we want to look for, we search on Google first. 

The world's most important search engine also has the Google Play store, which comes pre-installed on all Android devices. 

Google Play Store has Google Play Books.

See where I'm going with this?

As a self-published author, having your titles on Google Play Books means an increased chance of reaching many people looking for their next read on their smartphones. 

Let's see how you can publish your book on Google Play Books and a few tips on how to sell books on Google Play.

What’s the Difference Between Google Play and Google Books?

There may be some confusion around these two, so let’s see what they are.

Google Play is an online store where people can purchase apps, games, music, movies, and books.

Google Books is the most comprehensive index of full-text books that Google has scanned and converted for its digital database.

If you publish on Google Play , your book will automatically get a page with a preview on Google Books .

Even if you don't want to publish and sell your book on Google Play, you can choose the " Offer a preview on Google Books only " option when setting up your Google publisher account (as we'll see later). This helps if you wish to index your book in Google's library (FYI, this doesn't break the KDP Select terms).

Now, let's see how to publish your book on Google Play. There are two ways to do this:

I'll walk you through both processes. 

How to Publish on Google Play Directly from Their Platform

Step 1: create your google play partner account.

Go to Google Play Books Partner Center and click on Get Started .

Note : This service is available to authors and publishers within certain countries. See the full list here .

how to publish on google play step 1

Step 2: Add your bank information

Next, you have to add your financial information to get Google Play Books royalties.

how to publish on google play step 2

Step 3: Add your book & select a sell option

After you click on Add your first book, you can choose to publish your book and sell it on Google Play or Offer a preview on Google Books only , just as I mentioned previously.

step 3 how to publish on google play

If you choose to publish and sell on Google Play, you can select your book’s ID (the ISBN). If you already have an ISBN, you can use that one. Otherwise, select the Get a Google Book ID option.

how to publish on google play step

Step 4: Fill out your books’ metadata

In this part of the process, you'll have to add the following details:

Add your title, subtitle, book description, series title, etc. An important thing here is to add a good description of your book (or a blurb). This acts as a powerful marketing tool. It speaks for you whenever you’re not there to advertise your book. So, make sure to optimize it specifically for Google Play because the description, together with the title and subtitle, can do wonders.

Here, you can also set your book for a pre-sale period. Fill out the On-sale date field with the date your book will launch. Otherwise, leave it blank.

Link your book with others in the Related Books section to improve your chances of getting discovered.

how to publish on google play about the book

Like in Amazon's case, choosing the right genre and categories is essential. Unlike Amazon, though, Google Play doesn't limit you in the number of genre categories or BISAC codes you can select. 

how to publish on google play genres

Here is where you can add your author name, author bio, and the contributors to your book. They can be co-authors, editors, illustrators, etc.  

how to publish on google play contributors

If your book is part of a series, here’s where you can link it to other books.

how to publish on google play series

From Settings , you can select the percentage of the book readers can preview using Google Play's Look Inside feature.

You can also apply DRM encryption and choose how much text people can copy/paste.

how to publish on google play settings

From Advanced Settings, you can optimize your book’s discoverability on Google Books’ search, so make sure you fill out those fields as well.

how to publish on google play advanced settings

Step 5: Upload a cover and the book's content

Now, the fun part. Upload your book cover and your book’s content. Make sure your manuscript is formatted correctly . 

After your files get accepted, you can add Content Reviewers by entering their email addresses. They’ll get access to your book for free, and you can gather an ARC team with no effort. 

how to publish on google play step 5

Step 6: Set the price

Set different prices for different regions and currencies to match readers' expectations regarding ebook prices and for you to gain profit, of course. 

how to publish on google play step 6

Step 7: Review and publish

Check everything you entered one more time, and then hit the Publish button .

how to publish on google play step 7

And there you have it. In just a few steps, you can tap into one of the essential ebook stores out there. 

Now, let’s see your other option.

How to Publish on Google Play with PublishDrive

PublishDrive is an aggregator that helps you publish and distribute your book to all major online channels, including Amazon, Apple, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play Books.

Unlike other stores, if you wish to self-publish on Google Play through PublishDrive, you need to consider the following:

So, here are the steps.

Step 1: Log in/ sign up for a PublisDrive account

Once you access PublishDrive, go to the Google Play Set-up page from your dashboard to start the process. 

publish on google play with publishdrive

Step 2: Fill out the Google Play Signup form

As already mentioned, to publish ebooks on Google Play, you’ll need a publisher account . If you don’t have that already, you can do it from PublishDrive. 

Click on Google Play Books Publisher registration, and you’ll be redirected to Google Play Partner Center.

Google Play Signup form Publishdrive

Step 3: Fill out PublishDrive’s Internal Form

Once you register as a publisher in Google Play, return to the previous page (the Google Play set-up page in PublishDrive), and fill out the provided form using the same information you used when registering your Google Play account.

This will help us match your future Google Play Publisher account with your PublishDrive account.

PublishDrive’s Internal Form

Step 4: Make PublishDrive the Service Provider of the Account

Once you have a Google Play Books Partner account, you'll need to assign PublishDrive as the service provider of the account. This allows PublishDrive to handle all operational tasks on your behalf.

To do so, fill out this form . 

After you add all your information, your account is set and ready to go.

After you add all your information, Google will notify us that you authorized PublishDrive to handle the account on your behalf. We'll manage distribution, payout, and all other operational tasks from this point on.

Step 5: Upload your book

Go to My Books from PublishDrive’s dashboard and click on Upload Book > Ebook.

upload google book in publishdrive

Step 6: Set up all the necessary information

In this step, you'll upload your content file and cover image and set all the other details, such as creators, metadata, categories, price, rights, and distribution stores.

set up the book details

Note: If you want to set this title for a pre-order period , choose Else when you reach this section:

set pre-order period google books

What’s the Difference Between Publishing Directly Through Google Play Books vs. PublishDrive?

Google Play Books is an excellent platform for your ebooks, and we highly encourage you to publish them there. 

The difference between publishing through Google Play and going with an aggregator such as PublishDrive is a higher audience reach. 

When publishing through an aggregator, you can tap into more retailers and stores simultaneously. So, after you upload and set up all your book's details, you can enable all PublishDrive distributors and send your ebooks to 240K+ digital libraries.

How to Sell Books on Google Play

First, here are a few reasons to sell on Google Play Books:

1. Tap into an audience of 3+ billion users

Google Play comes pre-installed on all Android devices, which means an incredible pool of potential readers.

2. Get higher rankings in search results

Google is the most used search engine, so if you're looking for ways to gain more visibility as an author, Google Play can help you do that. Get author pages with Google , which also allows you to get discovered faster.

Now, let's see how to sell an ebook on Google Play.

The self-publishing industry is crowded, which means you need to come up with ways of getting noticed. For that, you need reviews.

Send out review copies and help other readers discover you. On Amazon, this can be particularly challenging, considering everyone wants to get a share of the pie. But on Google, you can get noticed faster even with fewer reviews (which on Amazon need to be around 30 so that the algorithms work in your favor).

If you want to know how to sell ebooks on Google Play, you need to know how to schedule book promotions (discounted or free sales campaigns) and create buzz around your ebooks. Make sure to inform everyone about your discounts through an effective marketing campaign . Then, half of the job is done.

Make sure to add your books to your author website , where you can always let people know about upcoming promotions. Also, remember to create your author pages and social media channels to keep in touch with your readers.

FAQs About Publishing Ebooks on Google Play through PublishDrive

1. What if I already have a Google Play Publisher account?

The process is faster if you already have a Google Play Publisher account, which you can use in PublishDrive. 

2. What will my royalty rates look like if I publish ebooks on Google Play through PublishDrive?

PublishDrive is based on a flat rate pricing model, so you’ll get the same amount of royalties you’d get from publishing directly through Google Play, which means 70%.

3. I am aware that Google can randomly and unexpectedly discount prices. Does PublishDrive do anything about it?

Google doesn't do that anymore. They fixed a few things authors weren't happy about. Up until 2020, authors would often see their titles get automatically discounted by Google Play. This action would trigger a price-matching from Amazon and other retailers. To keep their royalties, authors found a workaround to avoid the discounts, like pricing their books higher. But this is not the case anymore. As of October 2020, Google Play Books uses only the list price you provide for an ebook. 

Self-publishing on Google Play Books is a fantastic way to place your ebook in the hands of all Android users, which also means an increased chance of getting more royalties. 

Remember that you can also publish and sell books on Google Play through an aggregator such as PublishDrive, which enables the distribution of your ebook to many other retailers and stores.

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Why Publish on Google Play Books? Pros and Cons for Ebook Authors

Why sell your book on google play books.

These days, ebook authors have many options when it comes to self-publishing (indie publishing). While Amazon KDP is the major player in the US, it is not the only option , and, as you’ll soon learn, Amazon is not the biggest name everywhere in the world. Far from it.

For some authors looking to “go wide”—that is, to publish and sell books on more than just Amazon, you may want to consider self-publishing an ebook to Google Play Books—either directly through Google Play Books using the Google Play Books Partner Center, or through a distributor / aggregator.

“When you submit your books through the Play Books Partner Center, you can: Sell your book through the Play Store and offer a preview on Google.” (Source: An Introduction to the Google Books Partner Program .)


On “going wide,” there’s a great book, Wide for the Win that I highly recommend.

( Here’s a direct link to Google Play Books for Authors . )

What this post is about and who it’s for.

In this post we look at the pros and cons of Google Play Books and the pros and cons of self-publishing an ebook on Google Play Books directly vs. self-publishing that same ebook using an aggregator or distributor that will then “push” the ebook to, or list it on, Google Play Books for you.

My hope is this will help indie ebook authors and others interested in Google Play Books wondering “is Google Play worth it?” and that it will help people weigh how to publish and sell books on Google Play—whether directly or through, say, PublishDrive or BookBaby, for example.

A note: I use “aggregator” and “distributor” interchangeably to refer to a company that is the author’s intermediary by making an ebook available for download from an online retailer on behalf of the author, in exchange for a cut of the author’s sales or a monthly fee.

Scroll down to read more.

US authors:

Self-publish smart and sell more books.

Book a self-publishing strategy call today., self-publishing to google play books: pros and cons, pros of google play books.


You’ll reach readers in more countries. As I’m writing this, Amazon only operates in 13 countries worldwide. Google Play is in 75+ countries. ( see the list here .) And while Amazon may be the dominant player in the US and UK, it is far from that in other countries.

You’ll reach Android users worldwide—including in South Africa, Europe, and India. Outside of the US and UK, 7 out of 10 mobile phone users, some 3 million people, have Android devices.

Google Play Books readers are said to be willing to pay higher prices than Amazon readers.

Google Play Books pays authors high royalties (70 percent) on ebooks in most countries ( click here to learn more ) and , unlike Amazon KDP, charges authors no delivery fees on books priced below $2.99 or above $9.99.

Google Play Books has an affiliate program that pays authors a 7 percent commission on ebook and audiobook sales.

Authors who have free series-starter lead magnets will be rewarded with increased visibility for their other books.

Google makes it easy and beneficial to run discount promotions and promo codes (more on that later).

Publishing your book with Google Play automatically adds it to Google Books and the previewable part of an ebook is crawled by Google’s search engine.

It’s possible to stand out if you have some luck or some success in figuring out the algorithm. Plus, you have less competition.

If you find categories that perfectly describe your book, you may have a chance to really stand out.

Cons of publishing an ebook with Google Books

Google Play Books has only a 5 percent market share in the US . It might feel like it’s a waste of time and energy to try to chase this down and to have to learn a new platform, and it probably won’t be worth it to put all your “apples” in the Google Play Books basket.

You must make 20 percent of your book previewable.

I’ve heard people say that Google Play Books isn’t really a bookstore. It’s a tech company. You’ll have to experiment and learn what the algorithms like.

Google Play underwhelmed authors years ago. Before 2020 it was difficult for authors to get on Google Play, and those who did get access found the process frustrating to navigate. Things have changed for the better. But some authors still feel stung.

Even now, there are some distributors who, for technical reasons, are unable to work with Google Play.

Discoverability on Google Play may require experimentation and successfully running promotions and changing metadata. A “set it and forget it” approach may not cut it.

You’ll need a Gmail account or a Google Account (but you can create one) , and you’ll need an Android device to preview your books .

Unique features of Google Play Books

Google Play doesn’t ask for keywords.

Instead, you select as many BISAC or BIC categories for your ebook as you want, to increase the chances of discoverability. This is different from Amazon (limited to 3 categories) and Barnes & Noble Press (limited to 2 categories).

Google Play discoverability hinges on descriptions, titles, and categories. Amazon emphasizes keywords. There are potential rewards for authors who want to experiment and “figure out” the Google algorithm.

It’s easy to grant reviewers—Google calls them “Content Reviewers”—free access to your book as soon as your files have been uploaded and accepted. This is a great way to get reviews before the launch date. For more, click here .)

If you choose, your ebook can be previewed while on pre-order, if you set up a pre-order.


Promotions and Promo Codes on Google Play Books

Google play offers promotions that are easy to use and customize..

If you discount a book not only will the list price gets crossed out (attracting the attention of shoppers). Your ebook may also be selected for additional promotion by Google Play and customers will get notifications and emails about it if they’ve wishlisted or sampled the book. Your book will appear on a page along with other discounted titles, boosting its visibility.

If you make some sales, when you end the promotion, the algorithm will look favorably on your book and make it more visible to potential readers.

Google Play offers “promo codes.”

This allows you to create special deals, i.e., for readers on your email list. You’ll still get 70 percent royalties on the discounted price. And for the sake of the algorithm, promo redemptions are treated like any other sales.

You have the ability to target certain countries or regions with discounts. And it’s easy to set promotions to be temporary.

How to publish on Google Play Books and pros and cons

You can publish directly to Google Play Books through a very simple process . Go directly to the Books Partner Center to get started.

Publishing directly to Google Play Books through the Google Books Partner Program gives you more control of your metadata (Google Play books allows you to select the as many categories as you like), access to more detailed reporting, and more flexibility to set discounted pricing (should you be interested in doing so).

Using an aggregator / distributor to publish to Google Play Books and the pros and cons of it

You can also use an ebook aggregator or distributor to publish to Google Play Books.

As of the time of writing, here are the aggregators / distributors that publish to Google Play Books: PublishDrive, StreetLib, XinXii, and the assisted publishing services company BookBaby.


Pros of using aggregators / distributors to publish on Google Play Books

With an aggregator, you can publish to multiple ebook retailers and wholesalers and have all the information in one centralized account and a more simplified accounting and payout process.

Let’s say you have already published with one of the above. Chances are you’ve probably checked a box (or unchecked a box) to say, in effect, “Yeah, put my book up on Google Play.”

Note: I find the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI) Recommendations for Publishing Wide to be sound advice.

If you use an aggregator, you may also be nominated (by the aggregator staff) for special promotions .

And you may find that an aggregator could help you more quickly with a Google Play Books-related question or concern, than Google Play Books could .

Cons of using aggregators / distributors to publish on Google Play Books

While it may save you time and make it more convenient, you’ll have to surrender 10 percent or more of your royalties to an aggregator.

Because Google Play Books may require experimentation with promotions and metadata adjustments, publishing with a distributor doesn’t give you the level of control needed to be able to possibly work the algorithm to your advantage. (Remember: On Google Play you can select as many BISAC or BIC categories as you want, to increase the chances of discoverability. You cannot do this with distributors.)

If you needed to tailor the book description for Google Play (because Google Play doesn’t use keywords), you wouldn’t be able to do this only for Google Play.

I’d love to hear from readers and nonfiction authors on your experiences with Google Play Books!

You can contact me through this link.

Thanks for reading,

P.S.: Why Publish on Apple Books? Click here to see my post on the pros and cons of Apple Books for authors .

Written Word Media

How to Self-Publish on Google

So, you’ve written a book, and now you want to self-publish it on Google, congratulations! Deciding how and where to publish your book can be a little daunting, so if you’re not sure hw you want to proceed, check out our post on distribution services .

Now, without further ado, let’s look at the world of self-publishing through Google!

Google Books vs. Google Play

How to publish an ebook on google play books, reasons to publish with google play, google play books royalties, what do i need to know about publishing on google, i made my first sale – now what.

Before we get started with our blog post, we wanted to break down one very important differentiation in the world of Google. Google provides consumers with two major ways to access books – on Google Books and also on Google Play. The platform that this blog post will be focused on is Google Play, as it is the website that authors use to upload manuscripts, manage and sell books, and monitor their sales. Google Play, versus Google Books, offers consumers more than just books; movies, apps, music, and more are available with Google Play. Google Books is more of a search tool, compared to the storefront of various entertainment that is Google Play. As of October 2015, Google Books held more than 25 million scanned copies of books within its library. While Google Books is a great way to peruse titles, whenever you want to actually purchase books you will be led back to Google Play.

As we just mentioned, there’s a unique platform offered by Google called Google Play – and this is the tool that writers use to self-publish their books. The Google Play store is a one-stop-shop and digital store where people access, buy, and download apps, games, books, movies, and more. Similar to how Barnes and Noble owns Nook, or how Apple owns Apple Books, Google Play is simply the child of the parent company Google.

Steps to Self-Publish an eBook on Google Play

publishing books on google play

publishing books on google play

There we go! With easy to understand prompts, Google Play makes the process of uploading your eBook to their site really simple. After you’ve been uploaded to their site and have made your first sale, you’ll be able to monitor analytics and reports on the Partner Center webpage.

When researching the primary reasons that authors like to use Google Play, the major reason that stands out is the site’s discoverability factor. With many features that enable your book to go out to more diverse groups of readers (like the partnership with Google Books or the “discover” portion of the site), Google Play has the potential to get your book out to new audiences.

Google offers a 70% royalty, regardless of book price. While we’re on the topic of finances, something important to note is that Google Play subscribes to Wholesale pricing. So, what is wholesale pricing? How does wholesale pricing affect authors?

Compared to websites like Apple Books or Nook Press (both of which use the Agency pricing model), Google Play can choose the price at which your book is sold. They do this in order to offer consumers discounts on books – however, this will not affect your sales. The royalty that you receive is based on your listed book price.

For example: Sarah lists her book at a sales price of $4.99. Google decides to discount her book to $2.99. Sarah will still receive royalties based off of her $4.99 price point, regardless of the discount that Google offers consumers. For every $4.99 book sold, Sarah will earn 70% in royalties – this means that she makes $3.49 per book, and Google will keep $1.50.

We’ve found that there are a few must-know tips to keep in mind before moving forward with selling your book on Google Play:

Once you’ve made your first sale, you can choose to wire your funds to your bank account through an Electronic Funds Transfer or go through a wire transfer. Google will pay you on the 15th day of each month, or on the next business day. The minimum required amount for a payment schedule plan is $1.00 in sales. However, wire transfer payments require a minimum balance of $100 to initiate payment.

publishing books on google play

From this page, you can also access your Earnings Report to see how much money you can expect to make from sales. Remember, Google offers a 70% royalty rate, and this will be reflected in your sales reports.

Thanks for checking out our article on self-publishing with Google Play! Have any tips for how you use the site? Have you been accepted to sell your book(s) through Google Play? Let us know in the comments below!

Get more articles like these!

36 comments on “ how to self-publish on google ”.

Need to publish my book on google. need your guidance and help please.

Hi there! If you’re interested in self-publishing through Google Play, I recommend reading through this article. It will provide you with a full step-by-step guide to getting your book up and running. Best of luck!

Need you help to sell my book through google on net. Please advise.

Maj Iftikhar

Hi, I want to know is it possible to upload a translated public domain books (from English to another language) and then publish it on Google Books? If so, is it the same process? Thank you 🙂

Hi Lanny – we aren’t seeing anything that would prevent users from uploading and publishing these types of books on Google Play. Your book will be reviewed once it is submitted for upload; if it isn’t approved, a member of Google Play will reach out to let you know.

Excellent ! Very good article .

Hi, I want to publish my ebook for free, as I do not want to make money from it. Is this possible?

Hi there – yes it is! You can list your book for free on Google Play.

Can I add gaming picture on my book or there will be an Copyright

Yes, you can include images in books published through Google Play. If I’m understanding your question correctly, they will not add copyright on your behalf.

Hello, I wanted to sale ebooks on Google but I do not understand few things. For example, if someone sells an ebook he enters some tax information, but how he gets that tax number/information? Does he have to be registered as a company or something to have that tax info? And does the person selling the ebooks have to tell the local autorities about the sold ebooks? Does that person have to pay taxes, VAT, income tax or something like that, or Google handles all of this?

Hey there! Sadly I’m not incredibly well-versed in the tax information for Google Play. I checked out this link , which should provide you with more info. Your individual account & tax info can be found by signing into the Partner Center.

Sadly, that’s no help for non-US citizens. I’m currently trying to find the answer to this. The forms don’t have obvious answers for self-publishers living in other countries. Amazon in contrast make it very easy, for the large set of countries with a reciprocal tax arrangement with the US.

Hey Luke! I’m sorry to hear that 🙁 Have you tried contacting anyone through Google Play’s customer service line?

Thanks for this post! Looking to sell my eBooks with Google, but as a person living in a country that has no tax treaty with US, it’s very likely that Google withholds 30% of the sales. So, it leaves only 40% to me (after 30% loyalty paid to Google, 30% tax withheld). Probably not a good option…

This was well done! Many Thanks!

Thank you for contacting us. We request you to provide us with any evidence like a link to a reliable platform where the same content is available under your name or any other document that proves the ownership of the content uploaded by you or Rights reversion letters on official letterhead.

We appreciate your patience in the meanwhile.

Best regards,

The Google Play Books Policy Enforcement Team”

– My Problem –

Thanks for the email. We conducted another review on your account and decided to uphold the earlier decision to disapprove your account. For more information, please see the Google Play Books Publisher Content Policy and the Google Copyright Policy .

Best Regards,

-My Problem Two-

Hi Junior! It seems like the first message is asking for a link to your book on any other platforms (like Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, or Amazon). Is your book published through any other retailers? If so, you’ll need to send that to the Google Play team. For your second message, I would suggest sending Google Play any other retailer links you have and then asking for more information on their decision.

Can l use illustrations, like my own photos? Thank you

Hey Carlos – yes, you can include illustrations in your eBooks published through Google Play. Your book will just need to be uploaded through .pdf or .epub files. You can learn more about files & uploading requirements at this link.

Is it possible to published it for free? Do I need to fill the link to my bank account as I do not sell or taking any royalty either. Thank you.

Hey John! Yes, you can make books available for free on Google Play. If you’d like to check out this link , you can learn about the site’s requirements for this type of publication. It looks like you will still need to provide payment information.

I cannot see Kenya listed in the countries when trying to self publish.

Hi Rahila. You can check out the countries that are currently able to publish with Google Play at this link. Unfortunately, it looks like Kenya is not currently an option for supported countries.

Making my book ‘discoverable’ is like trying to get blood from a stone. After a week ‘live’ on Google Books and Play Books, my book is still non-existent in a general search.

A search for the term ‘truth’ which is in the title, and the author’s surname fails to show up in both a non-filtered search and ‘sorted by date’ filter. Part of the title “Made manifest” in quotes also failed. Search terms ‘potter’ ‘truth’ in Google Books with filters ‘free Google Ebooks’, ’21st century’, ‘books’ returned five results… and my book wasn’t among them. Truth, god, spiritual, potter – all keywords – and all of which are either in the title or description of my book make no difference.

99% of folk search with general search terms, yet the only way to see my book in a search is by searching for the FULL title or the author’s FULL name. So, for me, it’s a complete waste of time publishing on Google Books and Play Books.

Thank you for the article. I’ve followed this instruction, filled everything and got my “Account under review”. 1~12 days. Today I’ve got the message they have suspended account because there are no proofs this book copyright belongs to me. Even considering the fact I have authored this book and I am the only copyright owner of my book. I have sent them response asking to review their decision. They’ve sent another message: —— Thanks for the email. For completing the verification of your account we require any information that proves the ownership of the content uploaded by you under your name. We recommend you to provide us any of the following details :

A link to any reliable platform where the same content is available under your name. A copyright document or any other document that you think can be considered as a proof. Only after a complete assessment of the details we will be able to take an appropriate action on your account.

NOTE : Do not send us any confidential documents such as any identity proof or banking detail. Any such documents are not asked from our side.

The Google Play Books Policy Enforcement Team ——- And now I’m lost and shocked. I haven’t published my book anywhere else, the Google’s service was my first attempt, motivated by your article. That’s why I have no clue where I can get the link to reliable platform with my book. Also, here in Canada author of the book automatically owns copyright. I don’t need any explicit registration or proofs. Also, even if I go Canadian agency to register my copyright — I can’t get Canadian copyright registration record because my book is not in English language. And now I am completely lost — how to reply to Google’s support team inqury and how other self-publishing authors proof these things to Google? Could you please advise? Thanks in advance.

Hello, sorry for the trouble. Unfortunately i’ve never encountered something like this so I don’t have an immediate fix for you. I think you could try two things: 1. publish your book on another platform like Amazon or Apple , and then send the links to the Google Books team. 2. Make a Copyright page for your book, add it to the manuscript and send it to the Google Books team.

Hi Clayton, Thanks for your suggestion. Also, I’ve talked to Canadian Copyright lawyer. I’ve actually went to Apple Books store and published my book there. Surprisingly, Apple’s store team reviews and greenlights books significantly faster than Google’s team. After that I have replied to Google’s support team and provided link to my book’s page at Apple’s store. It took them less than 1 day to review their decision and greenlight my Book sales at Google’s book store. The issue is resolved now. Also, one of the key reasons for such Google’s behaviour was the fact I was trying to use pseudonim instead of my real name as Author’s name. It’s allowed by Google’s rules. But for whatever reason this confuses their “green lighters”. BTW, Apple requires publishing under your real name. If you want to use pseudonim — you have to send inquiry to their support team with your reasons, so they will manually update Author of the book.

Hey Thanks for sharing this information with us. I was using it and getting good no. Of sell and earning good but before 2-3 months Google disapprove my account due to copyright issue but the content is written by me. Now i tried a lot of my time to connect throw mail but they never give me proper reply or not send my earning to my bank account. After that i write some more books and try to publish it on Google but now they just disapprove my account again and again. Sir please help me in this concern.

Hey there – I’m sorry to hear you’re having some difficulties here. Unfortunately, we don’t have a direct contact with the Google Play team. My suggestion is to continue contacting their customer service team at this link in the hopes that someone will get back to you quickly.

I don’t know what Google Books says about their disapproval, but ANY “borrowing” or copying of wording from another source without naming the source is plagiarism. “In your own words” means literally in your own words. My sense is that your command of English is not strong, so you may not be aware when you are copying. This would be an infringement of the copyright held by the source you are copying from.

Do you actually have to own a business to sell your ebooks? It says that you need to provide a business license in order to get paid.

Hey Paulina! When you set up your payment profile in the google play partner center, you can select “individual” in the account type!

I have a textbook that I have distributed as creative commons. May I also distribute it as a free book on Google?

This is an excellent guide and I completed the process yesterday. However, I was utterly amazed to find that my account is undergoing a ‘preliminary review’ for which I have to wait 12 days in order for my book to ‘go live’. Considering that Amazon, Draft2Digital and others publish books almost immediately, this is a bizarre introduction to Google Play.

How did that go?

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Home / Book Publishing / How to Upload a Book to Google Play

How to Upload a Book to Google Play

Table of contents.

Anyone with an Android device has likely been on Google Play before. It's where you go to download apps and play games. You can also find a movie or tv show to watch in the Google Play Store. And, of course, you can purchase books there. And while Google Play isn't the powerhouse that Amazon is when it comes to selling books, plenty of people still purchase ebooks through this app store. So unless you're exclusive with KDP Select , you could be missing out on sales by not putting your book(s) on the Google Play Book store. So, read on to discover how to upload a book to Google Play, step by step.

It's important to note that Google Play and Google Books are two different things. Google Play is the place where you can purchase books to read on a number of devices. So if you upload your book there, it will be available for purchase by customers. However, Google Books is an index of scanned copies of books. It's more of a search tool than a store. In fact, if you wanted to buy an ebook that you found in Google Books, you'd have to head over to Google Play to make the purchase. This is important for people that are exclusive to KDP Select, meaning their book is in Kindle Unlimited. These people can have their book indexed in Google Books, even choosing to have a 100% sample, so it's essentially free. This won't violate the exclusivity clause with Amazon and could act as a loss leader for those authors who write in series. But, I'm guessing you want to get paid for your books. So, read on and find out how to do just that through Google Play!

Step 1 : Set Up Your Google Play Partner Account

First off, you'll want to set up an account at Google's Books Partner Center . If you already have a Google account, this will be a breeze. If not, then it will take just a little bit longer. Either way, this step is pretty standard.

Step 2 : Make Sure You Can Get Paid

Before you can start racking up book sales, you'll need to tell Google how you want to get paid. You'll also need to add some tax information to make sure everything's on the up-and-up.

You can set up different payment profiles based on where you have the rights to sell books. For most self-published authors who own the rights to their books, one worldwide payment profile should be fine.

After you enter your bank information, Google will make a small deposit into your account, which you'll then need to verify before you can receive any royalties. It often takes a couple of days for the payments to show up. Still, you can finish setting up your book in the meantime. For more info about this process, check out the Google Play Books Partner Center Help page .

Step 3 : Set Up Your Book

Next, select “Add your first book” from the dashboard. You'll be asked whether you want to sell your ebook on Google Play or to just add a preview on Google Books only. We're going to go with the selling option. This way, you'll automatically get a sample of your book indexed on Google Books.

You'll then be asked if you have an ISBN for your book or if you'd like an ID assigned by Google. If you do have an ISBN, choose that option. If not, Google will give your ebook an ID for free. Now comes the fun stuff!

You'll be asked to add the book title and then the blurb or description. If you already have the book published on Amazon or elsewhere, you may want to just copy and paste the blurb. Or you can use a different one. It's up to you! Just remember that a good book description is how you sell the reader on your book!

As you scroll down the page, you'll see boxes for you to add things like:

These are all pretty self-explanatory, but there are little question marks next to them if you're confused about what goes there.

Step 4 : Tell Google About Your Book

Once that page is done, you'll move on to the next pages, which include genres, contributors, and preview settings.

Google doesn't limit the number of genres you can select. You can choose from a dropdown list depending on the region. Choose as many as you want, but make sure that they're all a good fit for your book before moving on.

This section is also pretty self-explanatory. If you wrote the book with a co-author, you'll want to put that information in on the contributors page. You can list others here, as well, such as editors, cover designers, and the like.

The preview settings page is where you'll want to decide how much a potential purchaser will be able to read in the Play Books App before they purchase. Think of this like a version of the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon, only you get to decide how far the reader can look (with a minimum of 20%). This is where you can set your book to free by allowing a 100% preview, if you really want to do that. Most people stick with around 20% or 30%. You can also select advanced settings on this page, if you like. The defaults are good for most, but take a look at them to make sure.

Step 5 : Upload Your Ebook File and Cover

Next you'll be prompted to upload your ebook file and cover file. This is pretty straightforward. You can upload a pdf file or epub file for your ebook and a jpeg or png file for your cover. However, Google Play Books also accepts tiff, zip, and webp files. Unfortunately they don't accept Google Doc files. If only. . .

If you need help formatting your book for upload (for instance, if yours is a MOBI file) then check out this article on ebook formatting .

Formatting Has Never Been Easier

Write and format professional books with ease.  Never before has creating formatted books been easier.

Step 6 : Price Your Book

Once you have your content and cover uploaded, it's time to price your book ! One nice thing about selling your book on Google Play is that you can get 70% royalties even for books priced under $2.99. That's compared to 35% for that same pricing range on Amazon.

It's up to you to decide how much to ask for your book on Google Play, but be aware that if you have it cheaper at another store, Google may price-match it. Of course, this is common among nearly all the online book retailers. Note: You can always change the price later if you want to!

Step 7 : Publish!

Once you hit “Save & Continue” you'll be asked to review all the information you just entered. Make sure everything looks good before hitting publish. And if you haven't verified your bank account yet, don't forget to do that whenever you can to make sure you get royalty payments from any books sold.

Google Play Books is a little limited on where you can read their books. This is one of the downsides. It's possible to read a Google book on an iPad or any other mobile device, so long as you have a Google account and you download the Google Play Books app. But, you can't shop for books directly from the app, like you can in the ibooks app. Instead, you have to go to the Google Play app and shop from there. It's also possible to read a Google book on a Kindle device, or a Kindle app, but this takes a bit of doing. You have to download a couple of other apps to make the Google ebook formats readable on any dedicated ebook reader, such as a nook, or on devices like the Kindle Fire. Since this isn't a seamless process, it's important to note that many people stick with one app or another, and don't do a lot of jumping around. This means that “going wide” and offering readers the store of their choice is an excellent idea, and one which can help you reach a wider audience with your books.

Although Google Play Books doesn't have as large an audience as Amazon, you can still sell a lot of books there. By taking the time to add your book to Google Play and other available stores, you can reach a wider audience. Google Play also offers some perks such as higher royalty rates for lower priced books, and some promotion options. The process is pretty easy, but if you're going wide and don't want to deal with uploading books again and again at all the different stores, consider using an aggregator , like PublishDrive or Draft2Digital. These companies can help you manage your books in all the different stores out there, so you can focus on writing the next great story!

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

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