Google Play here we go!

Good news! Google has revamped its publishing site for self-pubbers.   The previous platform was a clusterfuck of yuck, damningly incredible for a company as big and innovative as Google.  Glad that’s behind us.

However, there’s still some hesitation about uploading to Google.  For one, I hear Google has a very unkind discounting policy.  Basically, they can choose to discount your novel, whenever and however.  You hear horror stories of books being discounted to 33 cents on Google.  Which might not be so bad because nothing sells there, but then Amazon price matches the discount, and suddenly you find your novel being trundled away for pennies on the biggest site of all.

For someone like me who doesn’t sell much anyway, I’m not so worried about Google’s rogue discounting techniques.  I’m still trying to find readers for my weird brand of fiction.  Nevertheless I’m not that excited about the Google platform.

As we all know the name of the game is book discovery.  If readers can’t find or get readily what they are looking for, they’ll look somewhere else. Sadly, it’s not easy finding books on Google Play.   Romances are easier, but every other genre gets the boot.

If I wanted to find fantasy books, I need to go to Fiction and Literature and then look at fantasy.  Even then it doesn’t list the different subgenres. Instead I get a general listing of the best selling fantasy. No new arrivals or the fancy lists you get on Amazon.  I have to wonder if this lack of functionality is because I’m  checking from a India-based location.  Anyway you readers will be sure to tell me.

Also the platform doesn’t let you the author pick keywords for easy searching. It seems you need to make sure the description or the subtitle hits those keywords you need.  On the other hand, it seems you get an unlimited number of categories to slot your books, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

As much as it’s nice that you can do text searches on google books, I’m not sure that’s such a great deal for fiction.  Text search is perfect for finding the right non-fiction for research purposes.  But I have never used text searches to find fiction books. Well, perhaps you do.

At the end of the day, I’ll still upload to Google. I could always use more pennies.


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