…but not quite there yet!
We have been publishing ebooks for over two years now. There are only five channels on which it’s worth selling ebooks and we are going to rank them by simplicity of their upload process:
1. Amazon 10/10
Works seamlessly. They may be hated by some but by Jove their systems work beautifully. They have really thought through the processes of how to upload an ebook and English titles can be up on Amazon within 12 hours of upload. Well done Amazon.
2. Apple iBookstore 8/10
The iBookstore is impressive. You still need an application to upload a book to the store and you don’t actually know when the book will be up on their site. It seems that they have more of a curated process so we’ll let them off the hook. Nevertheless, they could still simplify and speed up their process.
3. BN.com 7/10
It’s important to have your books on BN.com because they own a significant share of the US e-reader market. We don’t recommend spending too much of your time on the UK version of the site as hardly anybody in the UK has a Nook. Their upload process is slightly clunky. You need to fill in and send an excel spreadsheet to their team and you have no idea when the book will be live on their site. They need to have a website upload process like Amazon has and I’m sure that they are moving in this direction. NB. BN.com gets the prize for the most communicative and helpful promotions team. They are a pleasure to deal with. Well done BN.com.
4. Kobo 7/10
Kobo has improved their process and it’s much better than it was but we simply don’t see any sales on Kobo so are thinking of taking our books down from this channel unless they can offer better ways of promoting our titles.
5. Google Play Store 5/10
This leaves Google Play Store. When we last commented on the Google Play Store on 09 May 2013, we were so infuriated by their upload process that we felt obliged to share a Goodreads comment:
"At Google Books, it’s like being blindfolded, drugged and beaten, then dropped from a helicopter into a foreign country and being tasked with completing a treasure hunt of items that are illegibly scrawled on a wet piece of paper, torn into several pieces."
So we were pleasantly surprised when we revisited the Google Play Store and saw vast improvements. It seemed that they had listened to the litany of complaints about the previous version. However, they have still not thought through a number of key issues such as how to arrange a price promotion without pulling your hair out and providing clear information about ebook cover sizes - when asked for advice on ebooks cover sizes, we were sent to a link referring to PDF files when all we wanted was their guidelines in pixels. That really was bad.
Google, you have had a year to sort this out and still can’t provide a simple and intuitive user interface for uploading books to your Goole Play Store. We’ve offered more than once to sit down with you and show you how to make this process as simple as possible. It’s really not rocket science.