Publisher Program Policies for Google Play Books

Please note that we may change our policies at any time and it is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with and adhere to the policies posted here. We will notify account holders via email upon changes to these policies.

Digital File Types Accepted by Google for Sale on Google Play

Google's preferred file format is .epub. We accept .epub versions 2.0.1 and 3.0.1, including fixed layout files. Google also accepts .pdf files of both text and images when .epub files are not available; .pdf files with a text layer are preferred.

Content Protection

Google uses proprietary content protection technology in Google readers on Android, iOS and Web. For users who wish to download files to use with other apps, Google supports Adobe Content Server as its current provider of an industry-standard digital rights management (DRM) solution. Google will require users to link each of their Adobe ACS reading systems to their Google account via a one-time authorization. These devices may then request ACS-encrypted .epub or .pdf files via a Google-provided API. Google will also allow users to download ACS-encrypted .epub or .pdf files to supported reading software such as Adobe Digital Editions.

"List Price" and "Rental List Price" Explained

The "List Price" allows non-agency publishers to recommend a price for a book on Google Play. The List Price is only a recommended price and may not be the final sale price of the book on Google Play. For books that you authorize to be sold for rental periods, currently Google allows you to provide a "Rental List Price" for each authorized rental period as a percentage of the ebook list price for the book.

Reporting for Purchases of Books on Google Play

Google will make reports on the sales and rentals of books on Google Play available via our Partner Center. These reports will show sale transaction dates, list price at time of sale, revenue share and ISBN. For books sold for rental terms, Google will also report on the applicable rental term purchased.

Refund Policy

Google will accept refund requests for purchase cancellations that are made within 7 days of sale, although we may also consider requests outside of this period, for example to comply with applicable laws. No refunds are provided for purchase cancellations of books sold for rental periods of 24 hours, unless the content or service is defective. Google will grant a refund request for a rental or purchase at any time if a book on Google Play does not perform as stated, but the determination of whether a book on Google Play performs as stated will be in Google's sole discretion. Google may also consider factors other than the performance of the book on Google Play, such as whether an error was made during the sale and whether the refund request appears to be abusive. When a refund is granted, the sale transaction will be reversed: the user's access to the book on Google Play will be discontinued, the user's money will be recredited, and your account will be debited. (Users may, in some cases, retain limited access to a refunded book on Google Play if they have already downloaded a copy to a reading device.)

Copy/Paste and Printing

Publishers control how much of their text content will permit copy/paste functionality by Google Play users. We recommend you set the copy/paste percentage to at least 10% of the content for books on sale on Google Play, so users who take notes in a book have a good experience while reading. Books will not be able to be made available for rental on Google Play unless you enable the user to copy/paste at least 20% of the content of those books.

Books that are meant to be written on or cut, or otherwise require physical pages to make use of the content, must have the DRM setting disabled in order to allow the user to print the book. Books with these properties that have DRM enabled will be removed from the store. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Coloring books
  • Puzzle books
  • Books with patterns intended to be cut

Content Policies

Books that you sell on Google Play should comply with the applicable Publisher Content Policies for Books on Google Play. You must limit the preview of books containing images of sexually suggestive nudity that have no artistic, educational or political purpose (where permitted under local law) to 0% viewable, and you must charge a minimum of US$1.00 or the local equivalent for these books. You may not offer such books at no charge.

Buyer Currency

Google may permit you to list Specified Prices for your books on Google Play, and a user to purchase your books on Google Play, in a currency different from that of your designated bank account ("User Currency Purchase Transaction"). For any User Currency Purchase Transaction, you will be paid using Google Payments by wire transfer in US dollars or in the currency of your designated bank account, as determined by Google from time to time, based on an exchange rate that will be applied to the purchase amount (denominated in buyer currency) at the time the transaction is submitted. For example, you may price your books on Google Play in euros for a Belgian user and, if your bank account is located in the United States, Google will pay you in US dollars. The exchange rate will be determined by a financial institution utilized by Google to calculate exchange rates, and may be adjusted based on market conditions without notice. If a User Currency Purchase Transaction is subsequently subject to refund, reversal, chargeback or other adjustment, Google will apply the same exchange rate and currency that applied to the original User Currency Purchase Transaction in calculating the refund, reversal, chargeback or other adjustment. Google reserves the right to impose fees on this currency conversion.

Buyers view prices for books on Google Play in their local currency, USD or EUR at the discretion of the Google Play store in that country. If you can't provide prices in the purchase currency, you may choose to enable currency conversion in the Payment Center of your account. This will allow Google to automatically convert prices provided by you in a base currency into other currencies. (This feature is not available in all accounts.) More details are available here.

Client Services Agreement

If you are acting as a distributor for books published by another company, you must enter into a Client Services Agreement with Google. The Client Services Agreement allows you provide Digital Files and to implement settings for the Partner Program and for Google Play for each publisher you represent. Each publisher will also need to have an agreement directly with Google. You can find more information about how to become a Client Service Provider here.

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