google books

How to Publish on Google Books

As the publishing industry continues to deviate from traditional printing, publishing on Google Play Books is the way to go nowadays. It enables you to reach many readers all over the world who use Android devices. 

That said, Google Play Books wasn’t a favorable platform for book publishing until 2020. It was impossible to get your books into its store without undergoing an approval period or a waiting list. 

Furthermore, the lucky few who managed to publish their books would often have their titles automatically discounted without prior warning. This would then raise price competition from Amazon and other book retailers, and it always happened without the author’s knowledge. 

Many independent authors eventually found ways to prevent such discounts such as pricing their books higher on Google Play to make up for it. 

Anyway, this should not repulse you from publishing on Google Books as its pros far outweigh the cons of the system. Besides, Google Play Books finally came through for indie authors. It is now easier to set up a new publisher account with Google Books with no approval period. 

Also, as of October 2020, Google Books removed auto-discounting and began to follow an unilateral price list that you provide for an eBook on customer sales in the U.S. and Canada. 

Unless you are exclusively registered on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account, there is no reason not to publish your manuscript on Google Books. 

Moreover, you have so much to gain. Google Play Books offers better royalties of 70% than Amazon, which only offers 35%. It also doesn’t charge delivery fees on books priced above $9.99 and below $2.99. 

If you are sold on the idea of publishing on Google Books, then here’s how to do it:

Easy Steps to Publish Your Books on Google Books 

More exciting news, Google Books recently renovated their entire publishing system, making it even easier to publish your book. 

Follow these steps to painlessly get your book to the billions of potential readers out there:

1. Set Up Your Google Books Partner Account 

To create your account, simply log into and click on “Get Started” to fill in your details.

You will need to link your Google account, so if you already have one,  you’re all set. But if you don’t, you will need to set up a Google account as well.

2. Enter Your Financial Details 

To receive the 70% royalties for book sales, you’ll need to enter your payment and tax details and link your bank account. 

3. Set Up Your First Book

On the dashboard, click on the tab “Add your first book”. You will be provided with two key options:

  • Whether to offer a preview of your book on Google Books or
  • Whether to publish your eBook and display it for purchase on Google Play.

While Google Play is an online store, Google Books is an online index of full-text books that are digitized by Google to make them discoverable and indexable on search engines. 

If you choose to publish on Google Play, your book will simultaneously get a page with Google Books preview. So if you only want a preview of your book, click on “Offer a preview on Google Books only”. 

If you have an account with KDP on Amazon but still want your book listed on the Google Books library, clicking on that option won’t interfere with your KDP ‘Select’ terms. 

On clicking “Sell eBook on Google Play”, you will be required to provide your book’s ID, that is, the ISBN. If you don’t have an ISBN, select the “Get a Google Book ID” option. You won’t be charged an extra penny for this. 

4. Fill In Your Books’ Metadata 

On Google Play Books, the metadata process consists of four steps:

  • About the book
  • Genres
  • Contributors
  • Settings
About The Book

If you’ve published your book on another platform, say Amazon, this step should be quick. Simply paste your book details such as title, subtitle, book description, series title, etc., here. 

If it’s your first book to publish, you’ll need to enter such details from scratch and if you want to publish immediately, don’t fill in the “On-Sale Date”. But if you are publishing a pre-order, enter the date you want your book to launch.

Google gives you a great opportunity to “add a related book” which is perfect for linking your book with others if they’re not part of the series. 


Google Play Books is unique from other online stores because it lets you select as many genre categories as you want. It also lets you choose any category from the BISAC (North America) or BIC (Australia and UK). 


This is the page where you fill in your author name and biography. 

Moreover, you can add other contributors such as editors, ghostwriters, illustrators, translators etc. to your book. 

Preview Settings

Google offers you more control of your preview settings over its adversaries. Using Google’s “Look Inside” feature, you choose how many of the books readers can preview, with 20% being the minimum. 

You can also select the amount of text that readers can copy and paste or set it to 0%. 

5. Upload Your Book and Cover Files

This step is pretty straightforward. You should have your files ready, specifically:

  • Your front cover image
  • Your back cover image (optional)
  • Your PDF or EPUB file

Another amazing thing about Google Books is that once you upload your files, you can include “Content Reviewers” by filling in their email addresses. This will grant them access to your book at no charge, which makes it a superb way to share ARC copies with reviewers. 

6. Set Your Book Pricing

Google Play Books gives you the chance to set varying prices for different locations and in different currencies. 

The “additional settings” tool allows you to make your prices short-term, which is useful if you want to set promotional pricing when you launch your book. 

7. Review and Publish Your Book

Countercheck everything to ensure all the details are correctly entered. The only thing left to do is click that phenomenal “Publish” button. 

Just cross your fingers and hope for the best- you have made it this far! 

Remember, you can always rely on LivingWriter to start, plot, write, and organize your book before exporting it for publishing. 

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