Distribution to Google Play: Aggregator or Direct?

As many indie authors and publishers recently found out, Google updated their policies for self-publishing aggregators. The primary change is that Google must have a direct legal relationship with copyright holders, requiring authors to have a direct account with Google Play. We made some logistical adjustments in order to be compliant with these updates, and we’re happy to report that distribution to Google Play Books through PD is fully up and running.

Our updated process also means that authors can now obtain direct accounts with Google Play. Since it was previously difficult for authors to do this (because Google Play is usually closed for registration) many authors are wondering: “Should I go direct with Google Play or use an aggregator?”

While it’s understandable that some authors choose to go direct, using an aggregator like PublishDrive offers many benefits:

  • You can still earn direct-like royalties.
  • Take advantage of PublishDrive’s automatic price adjustments to offset Google’s price discounting.
  • Save time by managing distribution, analytics, and marketing in a single platform. PublishDrive offers some of the most robust analytics in the industry, eliminating the need for third-party services. Our charts also display when you start a marketing campaign, so you can see the direct relationship on sales.
  • Enjoy access to extra marketing features.

Below we’re exploring these benefits in detail so you can make the best choice for your ebook distribution strategy. We’ll also explain how distribution to Google Play through PD works with the updated requirements.

Benefits of Distributing to Google Play Through PublishDrive

Earn Direct-Like Royalties

The primary reason why authors choose to go direct is because they don’t have to give up 10% of their royalties. This is the standard fee that most self-publishing aggregators charge in exchange for ebook distribution. Did you know that you can still earn direct-like royalties (52%) from Google Play when you distribute through PublishDrive?

PublishDrive's subscription-based ebook distribution allows you to keep all of your royalties (after the stores’ standard deductions) for a flat monthly fee. There is no cap on earnings, no matter how high sales go.

Automatic Price Adjustments to Offset Google’s Price Discounting

If you’ve distributed to Google Play, then you know that they sometimes randomly discount your book. While they’ll pay you based on the list price, it’s still frustrating because this may trigger price-matching on other retailers where your book is listed. In order to offset price discounts, PublishDrive will automatically adjust the price so you don’t have to worry.

Save Time by Managing Distribution, Analytics, and Marketing in the Same Place

As an indie author, time is one of your most valuable resources. And as your backlist grows, you will spend more and more time having to update your books on separate platforms. This is another area where PublishDrive can help. When you distribute through PublishDrive, you can manage global ebook distribution, marketing, and sales analytics in a single platform. This allows you to spend more time on what matters most as an authorpreneur: writing more books!

Enjoy Access to Extra Marketing Features

As a trusted partner of Google, we can provide authors with extra marketing tools not accessed by going direct. For example, we offer free review copy distribution to readers and influencers via Google Play Books (and also through Apple Books).

Our built-in marketing suite also has free and paid tools to boost sales and optimize discoverability for your books on other retailers:

  • Amazon Advertising (paid): Authors can create Amazon’s Sponsored Products advertising campaigns through PublishDrive. The tool supports manual keyword targeting, negative keywords, and product targeting. Authors can also take advantage of PublishDrive’s proprietary AI technology, Savant, which helps identify the most relevant products to target for optimal campaign performance.
  • Featuring and Promotional Campaigns (free): Users can submit their books for a chance to be featured in prominent positions and/or promotional campaigns on the top ebook retailer websites, such as Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, and more.
  • Social Media (free): When users have a new book launch or other exciting updates, they can submit their news for a chance to be featured on PublishDrive’s social media channels.

⚡In A Rush? 

This 5 minute article will do the trick: 6 Facts About Publishing on Google Play Books


Distribution to Google Play through PublishDrive: How It Works

To continue working seamlessly with Google, we have also updated a bit of our distribution process. To distribute to Google Play through PublishDrive, all you need to do is follow these easy steps:

  • Register a Google Play Books Partner Center account.
  • Assign PublishDrive as the Service Provider for the account.
  • We’ll take care of the rest!

Luckily, you only have to complete these steps once. After everything is set, we’ll handle distribution and operational tasks for you.

Ready to take the next step? Sign up for PublishDrive today to reach Google’s global sales channels.

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