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.
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:
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.
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 myidentifiers.com.
Self-publishing an ebook on the Google Play Books store is much easier than you think!
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.
Whatever it is you're looking for, we've got it!