Ebook Distribution: Google Play

There’s a lot going on with Google Play lately, at least when it comes to ebooks.

About a month ago, Google Play shut down its book publisher program, at least temporarily, to new users while they sort out all the accusations about pirated ebooks on the platform, according to GoodeReader.

It’s a shame, and hopefully Google will reopen again to new authors soon. For authors already using Google Play though, there’s a lot of good news. As of June 2015, Google Play Books is the 9th Android app installed on over 1 billion devices. That’s a lot of potential readers to reach.

The Book Designer outlines the good and bad points of using Google Play, though some of it may be outdated. One of the biggest complaints of the post was how to upload descriptions for multiple books so they display correctly, but in my experience all you need to do is upload one spreadsheet (where you can format the description with some basic HTML) for an unlimited number of books. On the other hand, this may be why Google Play Books had such a pirating problem.

Interestingly, according to The Digital Reader, Google Play Books may not actually support epub. Though the system will accept an epub, it apparently renders the files differently.

On the other hand, Google Play Books has been making strides to make their ebooks stand out. For example, they released a new font especially for ebooks, called Literata, and they have a patent to trigger sounds in ebooks. There are also platforms, such as Liberio, that allows you to turn your Google docs into an ebook.

What do you think about Google Play Books? Please share in the comments!


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