Self-publishing

How to Publish on Google Play in 2019

Want to list your ebooks on Google Play? Follow this step-by-step guide!

Have you been thinking about publishing your ebook on Google Play? If so, great choice!

Google Play is a top store for indie authors and publishers, because it’s a great way to expand global readership. And for authors who are wide (instead of exclusive with Amazon) - discoverability is key for success.

Here are just a few benefits of publishing ebooks on Google Play:

  • The Google Play Books app is preinstalled on over 2 billion Android devices, allowing new readers to discover your work.
  • You can reach billions of readers in over 50 countries worldwide.
  • Your books will be automatically discoverable in Google’s search results through the Google Books program.

If you’re wondering how to publish on Google Play in 2019, this article is for you.

The requirements for publishing on Google Play have changed over the years, so we’ll bring you up to speed with our step-by-step guide.


Before we get started, be sure to sign up for a PublishDrive account! You’ll need an account to publish your ebook on Google Play through PublishDrive.

Sign Up!


Publishing Ebooks on Google Play: What to Know

If you’re not interested in the technical details about recent changes to Google Play, feel free to skip ahead to the steps below. :)

Google Play used to allow direct sign-ups from indie authors. This means that authors could directly self-publish their ebooks on Google’s platform. Then, Google stopped allowing new accounts, but they’ve opened up sign-ups periodically over the years. Currently, Google Play is only accepting new authors on an invitation basis.

When Google stopped allowing direct sign-ups, many indie authors and publishers used self-publishing platforms and aggregators (like PublishDrive) to access Google Play.

Then in 2019, Google changed their policies. The updated policies now require Google to have a direct relationship with the copyright holder (i.e., the author or publisher). This has affected the way aggregators handle distribution of ebooks for authors, since they act as the middleman.

Despite these changes, we’re happy to report that distribution to Google Play through PublishDrive is fully up and running. Authors just have a few more steps to complete compared to the previous process.

Let’s get started!

Step One: Sign up for a PublishDrive Account

If you don’t already have a PublishDrive account, you can sign up for one here.

Sign Up!

When you choose a subscription plan for ebook distribution, be sure to select the Standard plan or higher, as the free Tryout plan doesn’t include distribution to Google Play.

Step Two: Request an Invitation to the Google Play Books Partner Program

To publish ebooks on Google Play, you’ll need a publisher account. New publisher accounts are currently available to authors on an invitation basis only, but you can request an invitation from Google directly within the PublishDrive platform.

(Note: new accounts are also only available to authors/publishers within certain countries. See the full list here).

Once you’re logged in to PublishDrive, navigate to the Google Play Signup page to begin the process. Fill out the Google Play Books Signup Request Form that is linked within the platform (see below).

Step Three: Fill out PublishDrive’s Internal Form

Once you’ve requested an invitation for a publisher account, return to the Google Play Signup page within PublishDrive. Next, fill out the provided form using the same information you used when submitting the invitation request form (see below).

This will help us match your future Google Play Publisher account with your PublishDrive account, so be sure to fill out this form carefully.

Step Four: Check Your Inbox and Create a Google Play Books Partner Account

After submitting the invitation request form, you should receive an invitation from Google within a few days. (Note: Google will email this information to the gmail address you used when filling out the request form, so be sure to check the correct inbox).

Once you receive the invitation, follow Google’s instructions to create a Google Play Books Partner account. This will get you signed up to the Google Play Books program.

Step Five: Assign PublishDrive as Service Provider of the Account

Once you have a Google Play Books Partner account, you’ll need to assign PublishDrive as service provider of the account. This satisfies Google’s updated policies regarding their relationship with copyright holders, while entrusting PublishDrive to handle all operational tasks on your behalf.

To do so, just fill out this form. (Note: this form is also included on PublishDrive’s Google Play Signup page, so you can complete the entire process within our platform. We also provide you with detailed instructions on how to fill out the form).

After that, if everything is filled out correctly, you’re all set! 😀

Google will notify us once you’ve entrusted PublishDrive to handle the account on your behalf. We’ll handle distribution, payout, and all other operational tasks from this point.

FAQs About Publishing Ebooks on Google Play through PublishDrive

1. What if I already have a Google Play Publisher account?

That’s great! You can go ahead and use it with PublishDrive. Just complete step five above, and you’ll be good to go.

2. What royalty rate will I earn?

It ranges from 52-70%*.

Previously, Google only offered a 52% royalty rate. In 2019, they started offering a 70% royalty rate on certain sales transactions for authors who accepted their updated Terms of Service. (Accepting the updated Terms of Service is mandatory; otherwise, Google will close the account).

According to the updated Terms of Service, you may receive a 70% royalty rate (this is ultimately up to Google’s discretion) on ebooks sold to users in Australia, Canada, or the United States, with a list price or fixed net price (as applicable) that falls within the following price bands:

AUD $3.99-$11.99 (tax-inclusive)

CAD $2.99-$9.99  (tax-exclusive)

USD $2.99-$9.99 (tax-exclusive)

*NOTE: Authors using the Royalty Share legacy pricing will earn 60% and 42%. But all users in monthly subscription plans for ebook distribution will earn the full royalty rates.

3. I heard that Google randomly discounts prices. Can you do anything about that?

Yes we can! We want to make sure you get the highest royalties possible, so our algorithm will automatically adjust the digital list price (DLP) that you set. This offsets any random price discounting by Google.

NOTE: This does not apply to any ebooks that fall within the price ranges in question 2 above, because Google does not discount ebooks within those ranges.

Publish on Google Play Books Today!

We can’t wait to see your ebooks in Google’s global sales channels!

To get started, sign up for a PublishDrive account today. You can keep 100% of your royalties, and you’ll have access to author tools, like ebook promos, royalty splitting for co-authored books, and more.

Sign Up!

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