is It Worth Self-Publishing On Google Play?

Publishing ebooks on Google Play

The answer is extremely simple. No, no, no, definitely don’t waste your time publishing on Google Play.

One could wonder, though, with the market penetration of Google and Android, as to why publishing on Google Play is such a total flop.

I can only assume that Google doesn’t have its heart in ebooks.

This is clear from the insanely illogical user interface one is met with when first contemplating using Google Play.

It is next to impossible to navigate, understand and use. Finding the start page itself is a real challenge.

It is worse than a Douglas Adams gag:

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.” 

But to help you locate where not to publish your ebooks, you can use this link to go to Google Play Publisher.

If you want to suffer, a lot, and I really mean a hell of a lot, try publishing your ebooks in .epub on Google Play, and then a few days later try to get a sales report.

One could die a thousand deaths waiting for the report to load, then once finally downloaded in Excel format, you will not be surprised to find, probably, that there are no sales whatsoever.

However, Google doesn’t seem to like telling you this, so instead, Google just sends you a blank Excel sheet. Wonderful!

Quite honestly, publishing with chisels on stone tablets would offer more sales potential than doing so on Google Play.

Sure, Google may be wonderful and all that at a lot of things, but when it comes to ebooks, it’s a total waste of time. Don’t bother!

Update: Google has closed its Google Play Books to new publishers. It is unsure when it will reopen, but hopefully, Google is taking this measure to address piracy issues on its platform.

2nd Update: Google Play is still not open to new publishers, but it would seem that it has taken some action to reduce book piracy. The Google Books/ Google Play publishing platform, however, is still the same, which can only be described as awfully bad.

3rd Update: It seems that Google Play is now once again open to ebook publishers. Good luck!

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

4 thoughts on “is It Worth Self-Publishing On Google Play?

  • That’s pretty much what I’ve found with googleplay.

    I would add though that it’s free to put books up, so unless someone’s in KDP select then it’s always worth a try. You never know, one day they might get it right.

  • Thanks Jack for the info on Google Play. Can you tell me more about KDP? That may be in my future. Christine

  • It’s free to add your book and an added bonus is that books on Google play have a free audio option… The voice is robotic but not too bad. A good option if you haven’t gotten an audio book version.


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