Google Play notes

A couple months ago, I put my Tilted Windmill Press books up on Google Play. I firmly believe that having your books widely available is a good thing. Google Play let me be DRM-free, and while their discounting system is a pain to work around, I’d like people to be able to get my books easily. I’ve sold six books through Google Play, which isn’t great but hey, it’s six readers I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Amazon is overwhelmingly my biggest reseller. I get over 90% of my self-publishing income from them. They provide truly impressive analytical tools. While sites like Smashwords provide you with spreadsheets that you can dump into whatever analytics tools you want, Amazon gives you the spreadsheets and a bunch of graphs and charts and other cool stuff.

This made it really obvious that a day after my books went live on Google Play, my Amazon sales plummeted by about a third and have remained there.

This is weird. And I really would like my sales back up where they were.

I can think of lots of explanations, most of them involving computer algorithms. No conspiracy is required here. I’m certain Amazon didn’t de-prioritize my books just because they’re available on Google Play. Book sales fluctuate naturally, and there usually is a dip during the summer. But the graphs (both Amazon’s and my own) makes it really clear that this is an unusual slump.

As an experiment, I’ve disabled my books in Google Play. People who bought the book will still have access to it, but nobody can purchase it now.

If my Amazon sales recover, the Google Play store will remain off. The few Play sales don’t make up for the lost Amazon sales.

I will report back on the results. But, if you’re wondering where my Google Play store went, the answer is: away.

3 Replies to “Google Play notes”

  1. I was going to come up with some conspiracy theory about the DRM-free ebook versions getting redistributed and that depressing normal sales… but that doesn’t hold up. I don’t have any better ideas.

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