Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Google Play Books for the self-pubbed. (Or: How to rip out all your hair without even trying.)

I know when self-pubbing a book, be it fiction or non-fic, getting it out to as many venues as possible is the desired goal.

HOWEVER. (You knew that was coming, right?)

Google Play.

You'd think for a company that can map the entire farking world in 360-degree-view increments could invent an e-book selling platform back end that didn't...you know...SUCK.

For starters, it's NOT user friendly. (This coming from someone who rarely needs a manual for ANYTHING.)

Secondly, it's nearly as slow as Nook to get stuff posted. (Again, the whole technology, instant search results, we're the king of tech rep thing Google has going hasn't translated well to their Google Play platform. At least, not the book end of it.)

Third, they have a really unfriendly, bulky, and anti-social reports feature. (Just try it. You'll see what I mean.)

Fourth, trying to format blurb text SUCKS.

Fifth, they have a mandatory discount on your prices that you don't get any say over. (See this post over at Kboards for a chart on overriding it so Amazon et al doesn't price match to Google's discount.)

Sixth, epub files that Kobo and Nook will take just fine, without any problems, will suddenly start spouting weird problems that hang up Google's meat grinder. (Hint: Save your doc as an rtf, make sure you're using styles for normal text versus headers, save it as an html, then convert to epub with Calibre.)

Seven, you need a LOT of OTC headache meds (or alcohol) when loading books into the damn thing.

Eight, it takes FOREVER for the books to process (and you thought 24 hours for Kindle was bad) and update info if you have to make changes.

Nine, good luck finding the publisher back-end. (Hint: Once you do, bookmark that biatch and keep it on your toolbar. And, oh yeah, it's located HERE.)

Ten, when you Google search for help on Google books, you have to weed through about three pages of UNHELPFUL Google help pages to find third-party websites that are, you know, actually helpful.

I could go on and on.

That said, why should someone self-pub with Google Play if it's that much of a PITA?

Because it's there. Because it's free to sign up for it, and if you make one sale there, it's one sale more than you had before, that's why.

But, seriously, it'll make you appreciate Smashwords more than you ever thought possible. (So you know that's saying something.)

Here are some links to help you navigate the muddy waters that are Google Play Books. (You'll have to supply your own booze, sorry.)


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