Let me help you determine which will be the right place for you to put your books on. Find out how to self publish on Google Books as well as some helpful tips that can make self-publishing easier for you.
Thousand Dollars To Zero Dollars
Today's question has three answers and you're going to want to stick around. Because the third answer is a secret as to one of the top problems that self-publishers have when publishing on Google Books.
So let's get into it. Today's question that was sent in was how to self publish on Google Books? This is an excellent question because when we're getting started with publishing, there are so many places that we can put our books on.
Then we're trying to figure out which ones are the right ones? And when we do decide Google Books is the place that we want to go to, we want to know exactly how to do this without the hassle.
There is nothing worse than getting started with self-publishing at a particular location and only to discover that as you do it, it gets more and more difficult. Where the pain is associated with the hassles with trying to get it out there and learning the necessary skills.
Create a barrier where you end up not even getting the book onto the market at all. That is what we're going to hit today. But before we get into the answers, check out my absolutely free Self Publishing Checklist to help you get started with your self-publishing today.
So, before we get going directly on Google Books, I wanted to comment on something that's very similarly related and a lesson that was very important for me. From a thousand dollars to zero dollars. What it was?
It was when I was finding the easiest places or places where you could make money with self-publishing. One of the key places was ACX Audible. That is taking your books even short books that are only 20 minutes long in audiobooks and putting them on to ACX Audible.
Check out this related article: How To Convert Your Amazon Book To Audio Book?
It is where people could buy them and they could listen to the ideas that you were passing on. Whether you're dealing with a short story or non-fiction like I like to do. It doesn't matter because you would put the books out there and particularly the non-fiction.
Because people would search for it. They want a quick answer where they could get in and get out and listen in that bite-sized book. The beauty is that people who never even knew you would buy your book for the first time maybe through a Google search for example and they would absorb your book.
If they were the very first purchase on ACX Audible, then ACX would give you a bounty. So what happened is that you would get a $50 bounty but then I was making 20 bounties a month on my different books.
I was finding audiences who had never actually seen or listened to an audiobook through ACX Audible. As a result, they were rewarding me for finding those people. But I wasn't actually finding them it was them finding me through perhaps a Google search or on Amazon.
They had never listened to an audiobook and they were like "yeah this seems like a great idea". So that was fantastic. Like most things, you start seeing a thousand dollars a month coming in.
You Need To Diversify
You're thinking this is wonderful except for one huge problem. It was that ACX then changed its rules and said: "oh look we're going to do such a favor and we're going to raise your bounty to $75". Except for the only bounties you can get are the ones that would go through your link to your book.
So you would have a special link and only the ones that clicked on that affiliate link of yours and then purchased your book would be rewarded with that $75 bounty. Meaning you would have to find them all as opposed to Google where we have a search engine.
They look for a phrase on "puppy training" for example, they click on a link and before they know it they're on Audible. They set up an account and they buy a very inexpensive book and you get $50. Now, you have to make sure they would use your link.
Virtually, all self-publishers that I'm aware of quit making money. Then bounties went from being, for me, it would be a thousand some people are making ten thousand dollars a month down to zero or very little. Because you would have to directly drive that traffic.
If you were already in touch with the person, they may be a person who's already listening to audiobooks. So if they use your link, you get absolutely nothing. The funny part of it was that Amazon thought that this was such a benefit.
They saw that as a benefit to the authors of saying "oh look we're going to increase the bounty to $75". Though functionally, they cut all of the bounties they were giving out. Simply by changing this little tiny rule.
This was an important lesson which was that you need to diversify diversify diversify. And that is an incredible point because Amazon or these other publishers, Google or whatever it is, they can shut your account down when they want.
They can change the royalty rates right now. Amazon for example on eBooks gives 70%. They can change that if they wanted to and there's nothing you can do because you are sharecropping.
Check out this related article: Where Is My $$$! Understanding Amazon
You're borrowing other people's land to make money. So this is a very very important point and that's the reason why I want to bring this up with a relationship to Google Playbooks. Because it is incredibly relevant if you're getting started there.
So let's get into the answers directly related to Google Books. The answer is if you're going to get started, you want to know exactly how to do it. You're going to start with the Book's partner center at play.google.com/books/publish.
It is where you will find the portal that will bring you in. Now, you can't publish in all countries so you're going to need to check to see if your country is covered here. But then what we're going to do is we're going to go through the steps.
You're going to create an account. You're going to publish your book. You'll need your cover, your description, and your content. You need to have your book formatted correctly.
You're going to then promote your books and market them through the same portal you can do it there. And you're going to start earning. So this is pretty much the flow with most sites.
Downside Of Google Books
This is how you would do it through the Google book route. Now the thing that I don't appreciate and that comes to our secret of the day is the downside of it. It is that you have to publish either directly or you can use an aggregator like Publish Drive.
They're going to charge you for the right to even put your books on there. That creates a challenge, whereas I like to use Smashwords. This is where it comes a little bit into the challenging part.
Smashwords doesn't cover Google Books. So if you want to get your books on Google, well then you're going to have to figure out a different way of doing it. You're going to have to do it directly and the downside of directly publishing is that you put your book out onto Google.
But then that means you have to format it exactly for them. You have to upload it just to them. Then when the royalties come out, we have to file that with regards to taxes and bookkeeping for each of the lines of royalties.
Often where they come from different countries and this can be a huge amount of work for maybe relatively few sales. But then again Google's expanding this market. It is growing with regard to the number of people.
It's so easy to buy a book on Google Books. If you just simply log in using Android or Google in general, then it shows the books. Showing up pretty high towards the top.
This still even with the hassle because we can't use the Smashwords and we have to directly do it or use Publish Drive which will charge you. We still may wish to do this because diversification is incredibly important. But you're going to have to weigh the balance here.
Check out this related article: How To Self Publish On Kobo?
When we're trying to avoid the pain of the hassle, we have to also be careful that we do not step into the trap of thinking "I'm doing great on my audiobook version so I don't need a Google version". This is something you're going to have to weigh.
You'll have to listen and talk to other authors or other self-publishers and see if they're finding success with their Google Books. And if so within your niche then it may be worth considering.
But don't think that the answer is very straightforward because it can be a huge pain if you're going to go to all of the different sites. And put your book individually on all of those sites.
That's the reason why I regularly push using an aggregator like Smashwords. That's something you also are going to want to consider here. So, how to self publish on Google Books?
Have you self-published on Google Books? If you have, write the word "Yes" below in the comments, and if you have never done it, write the word "No" so I know how I can better help you with future articles. Check out my other blogs and videos to find other answers to your self-publishing questions.