How to Add eBooks Using Google Play Books on Mobile and Desktop

Nothing can replace the real feeling of flipping through pages with physical books. But sometimes it is not possible to find and read a book you want. This is where ebooks serve the purpose. You can buy and read ebooks on popular apps like Google Play Books, Kindle, Kobo, etc. from phones, tablets, and PCs. You can even sync ebooks between mobile and computer. But what if you want to add your own eBook (PDF, EPUB, Mobi, etc.) to a service like Google Play Books? In this article, we’ll walk you through the same.


Add ebooks pdf epub to google play books android iphone computer fi

Google Play Books turns out to be a great eBook reader and a great alternative to the Kindle app if you know how to use it effectively. Besides being free, it lets you add notes and highlights, and sync reading positions between devices. All functions also work for your ebooks. Synchronization takes place with a Google account and the notes are saved in Google Drive.

Does that sound exciting? Let’s start by adding ebooks to Google Play Books on Android, iPhone and PC.

How to Add eBooks to Google Play Books on Android, iPhone, and Desktop

Before moving on to the steps, there are some important things you should know:

  • Google Play Books supports manual addition of eBooks only in PDF and EPUB formats. You can’t download books in other formats like Mobi (which, by the way, works with Kindle). Know the difference between different eBook formats like PDF, EPUB, Mobi, etc.
  • Notes, bookmarks, and highlights can be added to eBooks in EPUB format only. So if your book is in PDF format, you need to convert it to EPUB.
  • Books that you add to the Google Play Books library are private. This means that the books are only visible to you. Other Google Play Books users can’t see or access them.
  • Ebooks will generally take the generic cover or the first page of the book. You cannot personalize book covers.
  • Google Play Books does not support adding eBooks from an iPhone or iPad. But you can read them.

Let’s check the steps.

Also on Guiding Tech

How to Add eBooks to Google Play Books on Mobile

The steps for adding ebooks to Google Play Books on Android are slightly different from those on a PC. You need to activate a setting first, which is a one-time step. You need to add books from any file manager on your Android phone instead of the Google Play Books app. Do not worry. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Open the Google Play Books app on your Android or iPhone.

2nd step: On the Home tab, tap the profile picture icon at the top. Tap the Play Books settings.

Add PDF ebooks epub to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 6

Add PDF ebooks epub to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 6
Add PDF ebooks epub to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 15

Add PDF ebooks epub to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 15

Step 3: Check the box next to Enable PDF Download.

Add PDF ebooks epub to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 8

Add PDF epub ebooks to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 8

Step 4: Quit Google Play Books and open the File Explorer app on your phone. Navigate to the folder containing your ebook.

Tap the ebook. You should get the Open with a screen. Then select Play Books. In case the ebook opens in another application, select the ebook in the file explorer and click on the three dots icon. Choose Open with. Select Play Books or Import to Play Books.

Add PDF epub ebooks to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 10

Add PDF epub ebooks to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 10

Wait for the ebook to download. After the upload is successful, go to the Library tab in Google Play Books. You will find your ebooks. You can filter the ebooks using the filters available at the top, such as Not started, In progress, etc. Google Play Books on Android does not support bookshelves at the time of writing.

Add PDF epub ebooks to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 11

Add PDF epub ebooks to Google Play Books Android iPhone Computer 11

Note: As mentioned earlier, you cannot add eBooks to Google Play Books from iPhone or iPad. However, this does not affect ebooks added from other devices. So if you add your ebook from computer or Android phone or tablet, you can read the same on iPhone or iPad.

How to find and convert ebooks to EPUB

Several sites offer ebooks in different formats for free. We have compiled a list of sites to find free ebooks. If the eBook is not available in EPUB format, you should use software such as Caliber or online tools such as zamzar.com to convert PDF to EPUB.

Once downloaded, import them to Google Play Books, as shown above. You can follow the same steps to transfer books from another app to Play Books. Download the books from the second app and import them into Play Books.

Troubleshoot problems with Google Play books not working

If your books are not uploaded to Play Books or cannot read them properly, make sure the book is in the correct format i.e. PDF or EPUB. Books should also be DRM-free. Know whether or not an ebook has DRM. Second, check if you are signed in with the correct Google account or not. If the eBook is stuck in processing, wait a while. Downloading the eBook takes time depending on the internet speed. You should check the other fixes mentioned by Google.

Then:

If Google Play Books continues to have tantrums, try using the Kindle app. Find out how the Kindle app differs from Google Play Books from the following link.

Last updated on August 27, 2020

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