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?
Google Books vs. Google Play
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.
How To Publish an eBook on Google Play Books
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
- Go to the Google Play Books Partner Center and click “Get Started”
- Follow the prompts to create your account
- Click “Create a payment profile” and enter the information as prompted
- Next, link your bank account so Google can deposit money you earn from eBook sales
- Finally, enter your tax information so Google can deduct the appropriate taxes
- Now it’s time to upload your book. Select “add your first book” and select that you want to sell your book on Google Play. You will then be prompted to enter and ISBN or EAN if you have one, or use a Google generated book id if you don’t.
Hit “Save & Continue”
- Next, fill in your book information like Title, Description, Length etc. Once complete, hit “Save & Continue”
- Time to select your genre. Google has well defined genres, so search in the bar for the genre that best fits your book.
- In the contributors step, enter your name as the “author” and add any others who contributed.
- Next, you’ll need to select some settings, like how much of the book readers can preview and if the book can be downloaded and printed on paper by a reader.
- Upload your cover and book file! You can upload pdf, epub, zip, jpeg, png, webp, pdf, and tiff files. Once uploaded, hit “Save & Continue”
- Then, select the price for your book. You can always change this later, so no need to stress too much about it.
- Review your book information and hit “publish.” You’re done!
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.
Reasons to Publish with Google Play
- Google reaches one billion Android users (that’s around 81% of smartphone users) in 70 countries.
- Google Play offers the “Play Books Partner Center” – this is where authors and users can upload their content, set their book prices, and more.
- Authors can earn royalties of up to 70%.
- The “discover” feature on the website offers users the opportunity to discover new books, which gives authors a greater chance of getting their book to readers.
- Google Play doesn’t require an ISBN to publish on their site. They are able to generate a unique number for your title entirely on their own.
- Google Play enables authors to create an Author Page, complete with all books from an author, a biography, and a photo.
- Your Google Play titles can be featured on Google Books through a partnership program. This can be an effective way to drive sales, as it gets your book out to even more potential readers.
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 Play Books Royalties
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?
- Wholesale pricing: Authors set the price of their book. Retailers have the ability to choose the price at which the book is actually sold.
- Agency pricing: Authors set the price of their book and this is the price at which it is sold. Retailers cannot change the price.
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.
What Do I Need to Know About Publishing on Google?
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:
- After you’ve finalized your manuscript, make sure that it’s ready to be uploaded in the correct formatting style. Google Play supports books in the ePub file format.
- Become familiar with Google Books. By signing up for your book to be sold on Google Play, you automatically enroll in Google Books and have the ability to offer readers previews of your title. Consider how much of your book you want to offer in the preview – this can be all the way up to 100% of the book.
- Book distributors will provide you with portals for managing your book on Google Play. If you choose to utilize distributors in order to sell on Google Play, you can take down your book from the website at any time through the distributor’s site. However, Google Play does not allow you to temporarily take your book down from their site. You only have the option to completely deactivate your book. If you are using a distribution service, you must deactivate your book through whatever portal you use. Below, see a screenshot of what this looks like on Publishdrive.
I Made My First Sale – Now What?
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.
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!