Saturday, September 8, 2012

Google Books and Self-Publishing - Why Not?

You don't read a lot about Google Books, or at least I haven't in the blogs and message boards about self-publishing that I frequent. Like many things in the self-publishing world, selling your books on Google Books means you, the author and publisher, will have to do all the work to get things set up so your books are available for sale.

Some quick research yielded the fact that Google Books uses the ePUB format. Since I have a number of books in the ePUB format (I use eBook Architects to convert my print POD titles to Kindle editions. eBook Architects also includes an ePUB version as part of the conversion. You pay the same price regardless of which version you want.) it won't cost me a dime to experiment with having a few titles available for sale through Google Books.

I don't want to pull sales away from Amazon so for the moment I don't plan on promoting the fact the books are available from Google. I am curious to see how well Google will promote the books without any effort on my part.

Some advantages I see in partnering with Google to sell ebook versions of several of my titles:
  1. Hands off sales, publishing and payment.
  2. I already have ePub versions of several titles ready so there will be NO COST to list my titles.
  3. Google is the dominant search engine at the moment.
There is always "legal stuff" and I have learned you need to pay attention to this stuff. The legal page is pretty long and the wife is going through all of the fine print.

Here is the direct link to the page with the electronic agreement to partner with Google Books: 

Take the time to read this.

Entering your titles is easy enough. Here is a screen shot of the page you will list your books.

Actually loading the book files has been problematic as I get an error message. I know for a fact there is nothing wrong with the files as they all work fine. My youngest daughter has a Barnes and Noble Nook and I use it to test all my Nook editions when they become available from Barnes and Noble.

If I cannot resolve this issue I will send Google physical copies of the books and my guess is Google will scan the books in.

I am not going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the issue is. I have perfectly good proof copies laying around so I may just send those to Google. Google provides instructions on how to do this as well as a shipping label that can be printed for ease of shipping.

In order to do all of this you will need to have a Google Account. Since I use Google Analytics for my website and other blogs, I already have an account. If you have a blog and have Google Ads you already have an account as well. 

Google will pay by check via snail mail or electronic deposit. If you choose the later you have to provide Google with your banking information so the electronic deposit can be made.

Once I have these five books loaded up and available for sale I will track how things go for three for four months and then evaluate if I should add more books to the program.

I will be sure to comment on what I learn.  As always, if any readers of this blog have any experience using this venue to sell books, please post a comment elaborating what you feel is valuable information to any other author who might want to sell books this way.