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Author Topic: Google Play epub or pdf?  (Read 522 times)  

Offline Evenstar

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Google Play epub or pdf?
« on: June 15, 2017, 04:54:13 AM »
What the title says really.
You can upload either or both. I always did both but ticked the box for the pdf version if they could download either. (You can also tick a box for epub only, which I don't)
Now, I'm not sure.
I download the pdf and epub from D2D conversions, and tbh neither look great because D2D remove line breaks which makes my front and backmatter a lump of text.

Does anyone have preferences/advise?

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 05:00:57 AM »
I used to upload the Kobo epub version to Google because Kobo doesn't remove line breaks when they convert a file.  Now I'm using Vellum so that's no longer an issue.

And I used to create a PDF and upload it to Google, but now I just do the epub.


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Offline Evenstar

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 05:11:00 AM »
Thanks Cassie

I'm PC not Mac so vellum isn't possible for me.
But I just found a solution to the formatting problem. The Smashwords pdf and epubs are far nicer looking.

So, can I ask why you just use the epub?

Does anyone know if there is an advantage to having a pdf version as well? Can some people only download pdf's on google play? Or is it just an extra option for the readers who might like to see it looking more like a paperback?

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 05:56:19 AM »
I have a Nook, and ePub versions adjust correctly, i.e. font, type size, etc. PDF versions are static. For some reason, though, some people prefer PDF.

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 06:13:43 AM »
I have a Nook, and ePub versions adjust correctly, i.e. font, type size, etc. PDF versions are static. For some reason, though, some people prefer PDF.

Pirated copies are always PDF. They can contain no viruses that I know of. For that reason, I don't supply PDFs at all. If someone asks me for one, I delete them from my list. If people really want a PDF, they can get one from Smashwords, but it will have the Smashwords metadata attached. I'm sure this can be removed, but tbh people who try to make money pirating books are not smart (or they'd choose a more lucrative business), they usually just have some misplaced sense that all art should be free.

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2017, 06:20:16 AM »
Pirated copies are always PDF. They can contain no viruses that I know of. For that reason, I don't supply PDFs at all. If someone asks me for one, I delete them from my list. If people really want a PDF, they can get one from Smashwords, but it will have the Smashwords metadata attached. I'm sure this can be removed, but tbh people who try to make money pirating books are not smart (or they'd choose a more lucrative business), they usually just have some misplaced sense that all art should be free.
Actually, a PDF can contain a virus, and a virus can be disguised as a PDF. Even worse, at one point Adobe was packaging a version of their flash product with a version of McAfee that contained a virus.


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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 06:28:44 AM »
Actually, a PDF can contain a virus, and a virus can be disguised as a PDF. Even worse, at one point Adobe was packaging a version of their flash product with a version of McAfee that contained a virus.



Erg. At any rate, pirate sites usually offer PDFs and maybe they want to do stuff with them, or whatever. I can't see why you'd want a PDF (scrolling sideways!) so I don't offer them and want nothing to do with them. On the very rare occasion that someone asks me for one their English is usually extremely poor so I don't reply, or if not, I refer them to Smashwords.

Offline Evenstar

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 06:31:27 AM »
So I should only upload epub to Google Play? Will I lose sales to people who can only get pdf? Or are they just being format fussy and can download the epub?

These are the boxes I tick on GP (following TK's uberpost instructions)

(for the following: __ = left blank. X = checked.)

X  DRM enabled
X  Show photos in eBook
__Only Display Flowing Text ... Provided
X Include Scanned pages


Is that what everyone else ticks?

Also, I don't think you can delete content files from GP? They just send out the "newest" version. So if I already have pdf's uploaded then presumably they are still accessible to those who do use it?

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 07:34:27 AM »
I didn't see that PDFs led to sales so I stopped bothering because it was added time for me to create them.  (I just went from four active titles on GP to 50 and wasn't about to create PDFs for each one.  Being distrusting I never wanted to load the version I use for paperbacks, so I always had to create a new one.)

In terms of boxes checked, I think I'm actually the opposite.  I uncheck DRM and uncheck scanned pages and except for one book that has photos I uncheck that box, too.  And then I do check to display flowing text because I assume that means they'll use my epub over some other version they somehow get although I don't think it's actually relevant.


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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2017, 07:42:10 AM »
yeah, don't check DRM. It's just annoying. Actually, I leave all of those unchecked and never upload a PDF. Does not appear to have any influence at all.

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 07:46:59 AM »
So I should only upload epub to Google Play? Will I lose sales to people who can only get pdf? Or are they just being format fussy and can download the epub?

The only reason someone would want a PDF is they are reading on a phone or tablet and don't have a Kindle or Nook app. Why someone would want to read that way is beyond me.

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 08:00:02 AM »
For complex layouts, PDF is still a superior format to epub or mobi. It is also a better format for most education/non-fiction that includes worksheets or handouts for printing or if you are trying to cut and paste into another document.

And I have plenty of legitimate customers who prefer PDF because they can print it out and read it on paper. That isn't practical for novel-length works, but it is great for short stories.  And a lot of people prefer PDF simply because that is what they know and are comfortable with. eBooks existed before Amazon's Kindle, and all of those older ebook readers are still out there. They just prefer what they are comfortable with. My job as a business is to cater to my customers, not expect my customers to cater to me.

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 08:04:04 AM »
a version of McAfee that contained a virus.

How the heck did that happen??

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 08:13:52 AM »
How the heck did that happen??
Very, very sloppy quality control. The McAfee install was enabled by default unless you unchecked a box. It nuked my Norton, then infected my system. Took me a day and an installation of Malwarebytes to get rid of it, then reinstall Norton. Needless to say, a lot of people were unhappy with Adobe, who never deigned to apologize.

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 09:14:34 AM »
So I should only upload epub to Google Play? Will I lose sales to people who can only get pdf? Or are they just being format fussy and can download the epub?

These are the boxes I tick on GP (following TK's uberpost instructions)

(for the following: __ = left blank. X = checked.)

X  DRM enabled
X  Show photos in eBook
__Only Display Flowing Text ... Provided
X Include Scanned pages


Is that what everyone else ticks?

Also, I don't think you can delete content files from GP? They just send out the "newest" version. So if I already have pdf's uploaded then presumably they are still accessible to those who do use it?

Hi, Evenstar. I used to load pdf files but I was afraid they were being used by people wanting to pirate my work. Now I upload my own e-pub version and I don't checkmark Include Scanned Pages so the old pdf files can't be used:

[X]Only Display Flowing Text From an ePub I Provided
[ ]Include Scanned Pages (This allows PDF to be used)

Copy / Paste Percentage      (Leave at 0 percent)

I think I noticed a slight decrease of purchases because I don't offer PDF, but I don't feel comfortable offering PDF any more, so I live with it.

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2017, 09:53:13 AM »
I don't think I've ever offered PDFs on Google Play. I used to do fairly well there, compared to other stores. It was my third best honeypot, after Kobo and iBooks. Maybe tied with Amazon. Then I lost momentum and sales flatlined, so my input here probably isn't helpful.

But if you're looking for a way to make decent ePubs on a PC, Instascribe is a browser-based software that does a good job. You can also export .mobi files. I think their ePubs look much nicer than D2D's or SW's.

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Re: Google Play epub or pdf?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2017, 08:15:41 PM »
Hi, Evenstar. I used to load pdf files but I was afraid they were being used by people wanting to pirate my work. Now I upload my own e-pub version and I don't checkmark Include Scanned Pages so the old pdf files can't be used:

[X]Only Display Flowing Text From an ePub I Provided
[ ]Include Scanned Pages (This allows PDF to be used)

Copy / Paste Percentage      (Leave at 0 percent)

I think I noticed a slight decrease of purchases because I don't offer PDF, but I don't feel comfortable offering PDF any more, so I live with it.

No matter whether you set the copy/paste percentage at 0 or 10, Google Play will still set it to 20. The only exception, I think, is for erotica, which is 0%. Anyone like to correct me on this?
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