The Daily Journal, Tuesday, July 23

In today’s Journal

* Quotes of the Day
* Topic: A Review of Google Play Books
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers

Quotes of the Day

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath

“Don’t rewrite, except to editorial order. (And then only if you agree.)” Robert A. Heinlein (Harlan Ellison)

See? If you rewrite, it’s because of self-doubt. The self-doubt instilled in you by nonwriters over years and years of so-called education.

“An English teacher teaching you how to write fiction is like a fish teaching you how to ride a bicycle.” Harvey Stanbrough

Topic: A Review of Google Play Books


As an indie writer and publisher, I still have to wear several hats: writer, student of writing, student of business, cover designer, eformatter, prepper, uploader, etc.

Yes, even with my wife’s help and her great business mind. It only makes sense. She still has a full-time job that takes up a lot of her time. And I’ve been doing the indie-publishing thing since 2011.

So I can’t just hand everything over to her and sit on my hands while she’s making her way through the learning curve.

So I’ve divided all those jobs up there in the first paragraph into two broad categories: writing and admin.

My personality makes it very difficult for me to sit and do nothing. I’ve been aware of the passage of time since I was around 10 years old. I’ve always had an overactive sense of urgency.

I’m not writing fiction at the moment (my mind is too muddled with Other Things), but I can still function on the admin side. Having to consciously think about what I’m doing on that side enables me to shove aside all the other concerns for a time. And if I’m drawn away to some of those concerns, I can come right back and plug into my admin duties.

So while I’m taking time off from writing fiction, I’m putting on my admin hat. I can help advance my business by investigating new opportunities, like uploading to StreetLib and/or PublishDrive.

Both of those (if I remember right) distribute to Google Play Books, a major player in today’s ebook market.


Yesterday, out of the blue, Google Play Books emailed me their new terms of service to review, which caused me to re-discover GPB.

So I grabbed a cup of coffee, carefully read the TOS (no rights grabs and a vastly improved royalty rate in the US, Canada and Australia) and accepted the terms.


From what I remember from years ago, GPB only took PDF format and authors had to jump through several ridiculous hoops. It took over a half-hour to upload a single title. Frankly, the time wasn’t worth it.

That’s why, although I’ve had an account with them since their inception, I’d never successfully uploaded even one book.

But I assumed the timing of their email had to mean something, arriving as it did in the midst of everything else that’s going on both in my life and in this wonderful new world of indie publishing.

So I opened the site, held my breath, and uploaded a novel just to see what the process was like. For a test dummy, I used my SF novel, The 13-Month Turn.

As a result of that test, I decided I’ll upload directly to GPB (70% royalty) instead of going to them through an aggregator.

The Process

Surprisingly, the process didn’t suck. But just a caution: Go through the process carefully the first few times. Look at everything on every page. It’s different than the D2D or Smashwords layout (and, I assume, different than PublishDrive and StreetLib).

Unlike several years ago, this time it took only about 5 minutes to upload my first book. After I’d uploaded a few others, I had trimmed the process down to about 3 minutes. (When you have around a hundred major publications, minutes matter.)

Google Play Books also accepts a variety of formats now. I uploaded the .epub I got from Draft2Digital.

Another caution: At first, since I uploaded a finished .epub and didn’t see separate upload links for the document and the cover, I thought maybe I didn’t have to upload the cover separately.

Turns out you have to click the single Upload A File link twice, once for the cover and once for the document. No biggie. That part of the process took no more than 10 or 15 seconds to upload both files.

The author can even elect to have GPB provide a separate stock number for the book (vs. an ISBN), similar to Amazon’s ASIN.
There’s a field for Page Count, but it isn’t a required field. (If you’re uploading an ebook, you can skip it.)

None of the fields are pre-populated, meaning, for example, you have to type (or copy/paste) the author name and author bio separately for each book. Still, copy/paste is wonderful, isn’t it? So do your prep work.

Overall, the interface is a little clunkier than the D2D interface (isn’t everything?), but it was considerably smoother than Smashwords.

I now have 11 titles on Google Play Books. I uploaded the last 10 (the Nick Spalding series and the Blackwell Ops series) this morning in about 45 minutes. (That included the time to open each promo doc, etc.)

I’ll probably wait to upload more titles. My account is currently “Pending Review.” GPB says this will take 5 to 7 days. Still, I’m confident in my formatting, etc. and it’s nice to know I’ve already uploaded around a fifth of my novels and novellas.

I can only hope for more of the same from StreetLib and PublishDrive. Once I’ve played with those, maybe I’ll write another topic like this one, or maybe even a comparison.

If you have any questions about Google Play Books, I’d be happy to answer them. Please visit the Journal website at and leave your question or comment in the Comments section.


Rolled out way early at 1 a.m.

I was in the Hovel by 1:30, and by 4 I’d written all of the above, uploaded the books to GPB, etc.

A game or two of spider solitaire to pass a little time, then to the house for a break.

After I visit with the xray tech, I’ll spend the rest of the day investigating StreetLib and PublishDrive and possibly uploading some books to them.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Pulp Speed Back Once Again” at Read this carefully. Read it a couple of times. Share it with writer friends who are stuck in the rewriting myth.

See “Free Fiction Monday: Remodeling” at

See “Story Stakes and Free Book Giveaway Contest” at

See “P.E.P.” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1130 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 1130

Writing of ()

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 7399
Total fiction words for the year………… 358737
Total nonfiction words for the month… 26670
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 210870
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 569607

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 44
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31