Last November I felt honored to have Google allow me to post my books as well as my author books over on their site, Google Play.
What I didn’t realize, or know, was what a pain in the ass it really would be. As I said, I was honored, they made me jump through hoops for two years before they let my publishing company post them, and, there was a learning curve to learn their site. They don’t make it easy or straight forward. The site itself is awkward and hard to use. You would think, it’s Google, it should have some really die-hard programmers and it would look spiffy…um, as a former programmer I have to tell you, it’s very bad to look at and getting your books up on it is time-consuming. Still, I buckled down and got ALL my authors books up and all of mine as I’ve been re-releasing them. There were 160 up there and I had 40 more to put up when I stopped doing that.
One of the first things I noticed was they discount your books immediately, that isn’t cool so I had to raise the price as places such as Amazon immediately price match or try to beat the price and you lose money. Plus, I noticed their residuals aren’t very high, as in no one is buying from their site. Again, you think Google would have a broad reach but it was like no one knew they were selling books.
I had difficulty not only with their site, but with their tax information system. Right away I got notification that our tax information wasn’t quite right and they were freezing our residuals as a result. Naturally I panicked and immediately fixed the problem, or so I thought. Every two weeks for the last ten months I received that notification. And, every two weeks for about six months I corrected it. I tried it with abbreviations, I tried it with a comma, without a comma, every combination to make it right, only to have them send that same irritating email that my account was frozen because the tax information was incorrect. I consulted with my accountant, I consulted with the IRS, but none of the information I put up on Google worked. I finally figured F@&$ it.
I was annoyed, they don’t have a direct phone line and when you do call Google Play, it’s for the consumer, not the people putting up the product they are selling. They have no line for that. Annoying right? You would think Google would be big enough to employ someone to help fix such things? Nope. And, the condescension when you do have the wrong people, is unwarranted….uh, they will send on a message to the right people…yeah, right.
When I finally did get emails, they said they were consulting with their people…when this went on with them for months and their condescension came through even in the emails, I got angry. They stopped emailing after that.
It wasn’t until I said take down all the books that suddenly a flurry of activity on their end came through the emails. They gave me a step-by-step process to correct my tax information…which I had done, repeatedly. I said, nope. Your residuals, which I occasionally got, weren’t worth the hassle. They truly weren’t. And their discounts, that was a joke. No sense in pissing off Amazon when they, at least, PAY for the books they sell on your behalf. So, I demanded they take the books down, repeatedly.
Finally they are down and I don’t think I will be going back to play with Google. It simply isn’t worth the hassle, the time, or the money.