Google Books - Google’s project aiming to create a catalog of every book ever published. https://books.google.com/
Google Play - marketplace where customers can buy books. It’s present on all android devices by default. - https://play.google.com/store/books.
Google Play Books Publisher Account - partner account that allows indie authors and publishers to upload books and make them available on Google Books and Google Play.
The Connection Between Google Books and Google Play
Having your books on Google Play Books means your books will automatically be included on Google Books as well. However, if you have books on Google Books, they won’t be automatically available on Google Play.
Getting into Google Books has two important consequences:
1) The book's content is searchable in Google.
2) Google makes 20% of the book available on Google Books as a preview in a PDF-like format.
Why is this good for you? As google is officially a verb now meaning "to search," it is not surprising that Google will do everything in their power to get your books to the top of the search results. This includes keywords and full-text searching: if you have characters with a unique name or are writing about a niche topic, chances are that readers will find your book.
On the book's listing, there is an option to buy the ebook (it redirects you to the Google Play Store) and lists any print buy options, if available.
Special Terms and Requirements for Google Play
Direct Google Play Publisher Account is Needed
According to Google’s policies, you must comply with special requirements before you can distribute your books to Google Play via PublishDrive:
- You must sign up directly to Google Play and obtain your own Google Play Publisher account. (You can start this process within the PublishDrive platform. Or, if you already have a Google Play Publisher account, you can use it in PublishDrive.)
- You need to add PublishDrive as a Service Provider for your Google Play Publisher account. You can do it on this form.
In addition to needing a direct publisher account on Google Play Books to distribute to Google Play, your home country is also relevant. Currently, accounts created in the following countries are eligible to sell books on Google Play:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam.
(For an always up-to-date list, please check the Google Play website.)
Important: you may create a Google Play Publisher account even if you are NOT from any available country above. BUT in this case, you WILL NOT BE able to sell your book on Google Play; you can only put it on Google Books. This means your books will be searchable by Google, but customers can’t buy your books.
This setting (whether or not your account is eligible for selling books) is determined by Google based on the information you provide at signup and is validated after the first book is uploaded. Please note that this is a permanent setting in the account, and it cannot be changed anytime after signup.
This is the easiest way to determine if your account is eligible to sell books: Do you have a “Payment Profile” menu in your Google Play Publisher account? If it’s present, then you are good to go. if you don’t have one, then you can’t sell books on Google Play with this account.
Only accounts with the selling option (i.e., accounts with a Payment Center menu) can be used in PublishDrive.
We work with Google based on a wholesale model: publishers set a digital list price, but in the end, the retailer (Google) sets the final price for ebooks. Google is usually trying to sell ebooks cheaper than any other channel, discounting the books in a pseudorandom way, depending on the price and currency.
Being aware of Google’s price discounting, we automatically adjust the retail price given by the publisher to avoid price matching by Amazon: this is what we call "Google Price". Our algorithm tries to keep prices in line with the Digital List Price (this is the price you set).
2019 Updates to Royalty Rates and Price Discounting
Previously, Google Play Books offered a 52% royalty rate. Beginning in 2019, they started offering a 70% royalty rate* on certain sales transactions for authors and publishers who accepted their updated Terms of Service. (Accepting the updated Terms of Service is mandatory; otherwise, Google will close the account).
*in Australia, Canada, or the United States.
As mentioned in the previous section, Google sometimes lowers ebook prices unilaterally, which may trigger automatic price matching by Amazon. However, for the above prices and countries, Google does not randomly discount prices, so PublishDrive will not automatically adjust the prices either. But for all others, the DLP will be higher as we adjust the price to offset Google’s price discounting, and the royalty rate will be 52%* for those titles.
It’s also important to note that if the Amazon price is lower than the Google price, Google may also price-match and reduce the price accordingly.
NOTE: Authors using the Royalty Share legacy pricing will earn 60% and 42%.
2020 Updates to Royalty Rates
Google is expanding the 70% ebook revenue split in 60+ countries. Previously, partners only received 70% of the list price on ebook sales to buyers in Australia, Canada, or the US and within certain price bands. Please see the list of the newly added countries below:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.
Partners will continue to receive their current revenue split on sales in the following countries: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
For more information, please visit the Google Play Books Partner Center.