by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
Although I was late to sell my books on Google Play, I’ve discovered that my books have sold well there.
I was a something of a skeptic about the chances of my success on Google Play or, really, any non-Amazon retailer. My Nook sales (as, I think, everyone else’s) have been decreasing for years and I was never able to get much traction at Apple.
I’d also heard writers complain about problems with Google Play in the past. I’ve heard they deeply discount our books (without our approval) and then Amazon price-matches them. I’d also heard that they could be slow to pay.
Regardless, I decided to give it a go since I was also hearing positive things from other writers about their income through Google Play.
The first thing we should know is that the only way currently to get our books listed on Google Play is through a distributor. We can’t list them directly at the retailer.
You’ll, obviously, need to pick one of the distributors to upload to, to avoid any duplication. StreetLib is just rolling out the ability to choose an individual price for each specific retailer–a cool feature that’s particularly important, as I’ll describe in a minute.
Although both aggregators are easy to use, PublishDrive is probably slightly easier to upload to. And I like PublishDrive’s dashboard and sales reports better. PublishDrive has also announced that they will pay our royalties before they even receive them from the retailer (which, considering Google Play’s sketchy payment history, might be a consideration for any skittish writers).
I’m not currently using Pronoun, so can’t give any insight about their platform. This Q&A between industry expert Jane Friedman and Justin Renard, head of Pronoun marketing, may be helpful to read if you’d like more information on them.
As far as pricing issues–it’s incredibly annoying of Google Play to reduce our book prices without our input. To circumvent this problem, I’m raising the prices of my books for that retailer to make sure that the discounted price is what I’m wanting it to be. A post on K-Boards some time ago offers tips for setting your prices. For example, if I want readers to pay $4.99 on Google Play, I set my price there for $6.48.
As I mentioned earlier, the problem with setting the price higher on a retailer like PublishDrive is that our prices will be high across the board there–so every other retail platform has steep prices for my books. That’s why I’m excited about StreetLib offering individual pricing for retailers (being rolled out now or very soon).
So a few hoops for me to jump through, but so far the payout has been definitely worth it.
Have you tried out Google Play recently? What were your results?Listing Your Books With Google Play: Click To Tweet
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