Upload ePub Is Back

Before I made the eBook version of Upload an Amazon-exclusive, about 98% of my eBook sales were from Amazon. When my 90 day agreement with Amazon was up, I never bothered to republish the eBook elsewhere. I guess I was disillusioned by the Amazon eBook monopoly, and didn’t see the point of making it available for Nook, iTunes Books, Google Play, etc.

But I got this tweet today, and realized I really should get the eBook back up on other sites:

Back in April, I wanted to run a promotion where Upload would be free on Kindle right around the time when the film Transcendence was coming out. Regardless of how good or bad the film was (I personally think it was weak, but didn’t deserve to be hammered by critics), it was a great opportunity for me to draft a marketing giant. I “sold” over 2500 copies in three days, which was huge by my standards. But, in order to take advantage of Amazon’s KDP Select marketing features, such as Countdown Deals, Free Promotions, and free lending via the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, I had to make the eBook available exclusively on Amazon for the 90 day KDP Select membership period. I had to de-list it everywhere else. Since Amazon completly dominated eBook sales, at least where my own book was concerned, this was no great loss for me. In fact, I never bothered to re-list it elsewhere.

Upload available as ePub now on Lulu

Until I got this tweet. So, this morning, I put the time into re-publishing it on Google Play, iTunes Books, Nook Books, Kobo, and Lulu. It will take a few days, and I’ll post here as I see the lights coming on again. Right now, if you are looking for Upload in ePub format, you can definitely find it on Lulu.

Thank you, @Transmitthis, for reminding me that there are in fact people out there reading eBooks on something other than a Kindle.


The eBook is now available on Kobo and Google Play Books as well.

How to Add a Description to a Book on Google Play

First, for anyone who is trying to solve this problem, here is the solution (at least for now):

Add or edit summary of Partner Program book

The basic issue is that Google typically gets its book summaries from third-party meta-data providers.  If you’re self-publishing, those third parties probably don’t know your book exists.  If you go through the help materials, you won’t find a solution to your problem.  Only once you attempt to contact Google directly for help do they walk you through a questionnaire that eventually leads you to the precious web form that I’ve linked to above.

If you would like to appreciate the value of a good — or even moderately competent — user experience designer, attempt to publish a book on Google Play.  It’s like a parody of bad UI.  Please, Google, you gotta do something.

For those who want to know the background here, read on.  For everyone else, I hope you found this post helpful.  The rest is just my tale of woe.


In going through the painfully obtuse process of making Upload available on Google Play, I encountered a problem that had me baffled: how to add a summary/description/blurb to display alongside the book.  This concept of a brief introduction to your book is ubiquitous on bookseller websites.  Even on Google Play, most books have a short paragraph explaining the book, to entice the buyer into reading customer reviews, skimming the preview, possibly even buying the book.

Knowing this, I expected at some point during the not-at-all-straightforward process of getting a book onto Google Play to be presented with an opportunity to enter a summary for Upload.  I was not.  Nor did I come across any little note, friendly or otherwise, mentioning that Google prefers to fetch this information from someone other than the publisher.  When my book finally popped out the other end of the black-box process — an event which I feel warrants an email to the publisher, since it takes days and may result in pricing other than what the publisher intended — I discovered that it in fact did not have a summary, where other books on Google Play did.

Where had I gone wrong?  What step or piece of crucial information had I missed?  Other people are making it work — why can’t I?

So I sunk another 30 minutes or so into trying to find a solution.  Only to discover that you have to endeavor to register a complaint before they tell you how it works?  Maybe I missed something along the way, but I’ve gone back and forth over those pages and come up with nothing.  I guess the engineer-driven business model at Google has its downsides.  And that’s coming from someone who’s been coding for money for the past twenty years.

All part of the joy of self-publishing.  Of course, I imagine I’m lucky to be arriving at this game now, and not four years ago.