The Verdict on Google Play

There’s a bakery/coffee shop not far from my house that offers a decaf, nonfat, sugar-free vanilla latte. They call it, “Why Bother?”

I’m coming to the same conclusion about whether to put my books up for sale at Google Play.

First off, this is not Google Books. I mention that because I kept getting them confused. Google Books is the name of the project in which Google was going to digitize and make available on the Internet every book in every library – a noble goal that almost immediately ran into a storm of protests from individuals and organizations worried about copyright violations. Just this week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s certification of the case as a class action, and told the district court judge he needs to decide whether Google’s snippets of text could be considered “fair use.” This lawsuit began in 2005, mind you, and is still going on.

No, Google Play is not Google Books – although a large portion of the five million books available for download via Google Play are out-of-copyright titles obtained from Google Books. Google Play actually is the former Android Market – the place where people who own Android phones and tablets can go to buy apps and content for their devices. It’s what iTunes is to Apple devices.

So you’d think Google Play would be a decent marketplace for indies. And it is actually possible to upload your books to Google Play and have them available for sale there. So why isn’t everybody doing it? Continue reading “The Verdict on Google Play”

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