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Google Play Books Cost: What are you paying for?

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Google Play Books offers one of the largest online libraries of books. It includes a few strong features that benefit regular or even infrequent readers.

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Google Play Books Cost: What are you paying for?

Google Play Books offers one of the largest online collections of books from current bestsellers to classics. It offers some powerful features that benefit avid or even infrequent consumers of ebooks or audiobooks.  

What is Google Play Books?

Google Play Books is an online bookstore that allows users to easily read ebooks, comics including manga, and even textbooks. 

Pros of Google Play Books (and what you’re paying for)

Google Play Books offers standard features with one exception, specifically the power of the google search engine to find books you’re looking for. The easy-to-use interface allows readers to scan various formats and genres. Once the reader selects the title, they can easily choose between ebooks or audiobooks, depending on preference and availability. Another fantastic option provided by Google Play Books is their Family Library where ebooks and audiobooks can be shared among family members. And if you have a google home set up, you can have your ebooks and audiobooks read to you while you make dinner or fold some laundry. 

While Google Play Books does not offer subscription plans, users can subscribe to a book series to download the next in a series. The free-to-use service allows each ebook to be purchased at the shelf price but sellers can offer price promotions on Google Play in the partner center. Fortunately, Google Play Books also offers a pre-order option for upcoming new releases and the ebook will automatically appear in your library once it becomes available. 

Cons of Google Play Books

Despite some welcome features, Google Play Books does have some limitations. 

  • If users purchase one of google’s audiobooks accidentally, they cannot be sure they will be able to return it. Google Play Books only has a return policy that allows readers to request a return within 7 days of purchase but does not guarantee a return. 

  • Another limit Google Play Books has to contend with is its lack of subscription services. Readers like the reliability of a subscription-based service where they are guaranteed a certain number of books per month free, such as Amazon’s Audible. 

  • Google Play Books can be more expensive than other locations. Amazon’s prices tend to be lower than Google Play Books prices. Depending on the retailers, price matching can impact book prices in Google Play Books as well.

  • Google Play Books is still part of Google, which can make it more expensive.

Does Speechify work with Google Play Books?

Yes! Speechify can turn any ebook into an audiobook. Speechify is one of the best text-to-speech programs on the market today. The company seeks to provide a better, faster reading experience. Its compatibility with multiple platforms, including Apple, Mac, Google Chrome, iOS, Android, and plenty of others, guarantees a smooth transition from Google Play Books to the natural-sounding speech provided by Speechify. 

Alternatives to Google Play Books

Google Play Books operates in a relatively saturated market of ebook providers. Each provider has benefits and weaknesses but all are worth mentioning here. 

  • Apple Books, formerly known as iBooks, is Apple’s bookstore and reading application for iPhone and other iOS devices. One major benefit of the Apple Books app is the fully integrated in-app store. Users can purchase books from inside the app, then seamlessly begin reading right away. Apple also offers free book and audiobook content (in the US) that is usable on any iOS or macOS device. While there are some benefits, Apple Books is not one of the most advanced apps in the marketplace.

  • As an alternative, Amazon Kindle has some preferable benefits. One of the greatest benefits is the Whispersync technology which allows readers to seamlessly pick up reading where they left off across various devices. If the user also has an Audible subscription, they can also listen to the ebook version thanks to the Whispersync technology. Amazon Kindle app is free across both Windows and Mac platforms. Amazon Kindle also allows users to borrow ebooks from the public library system. Kindle users can also share ebooks, audiobooks, and other publications through the Amazon family library.

  • Project Gutenberg offers an online library of epub and Kindle ebooks available for download or online reading. While Gutenberg has 60,000 titles, their focus is on books whose copyright has expired in the United States. All of the titles are now public domain.

  • Another alternative to Google Play Books is the Android-only application ReadEra. ReadEra is available on the Google Play store and allows readers a simple format for reading books and viewing documents. One benefit is the array of file types viewable in ReadEra including epub, MOBI, PDF, doc, and TXT files to name a few. An inherent weakness with ReadEra is its limited platform availability to android devices only.

  • Calibre is a powerful, free source for ebook management. With the user-friendly interface, Calibre provides simple action steps to crack open your book and get reading. Readers can display all major ebook formats via Calibre. The higher level function allows users to manage the ebooks, add metadata to their downloaded files for advanced searching, and share their ebooks with other users of their choice. One of the potential downsides to Calibre is its lack of capability to acquire ebooks. Users must purchase ebooks from another source and upload them into Calibre. Another benefit is the accessibility of Calibre on any ereader on the market.

One distinct benefit these services have in common is they are all compatible with Speechify. Users can upload their ebooks from any of these services into Speechify to enjoy the smooth, human-sounding voices available in Speechify.

Conclusion: Google Play Books is one of many options to use to find reading material

Google Play Books happens to be one of many options in the ebook and audiobook marketplace. While Google Play Books offers some usable features, there is room for improvement in competition with other options. 


  • Is there a monthly fee for Google Play Books?

Google Play Books does not charge any monthly fee. The reader can purchase the book at the shelf price and simply start reading. 

  • Is Google Play Books completely free?

While there is no fee for Google Play Books, the cost absorbed by the user is the price of each item purchased, whether it’s an ebook or one of google’s audiobooks.

  • How much is a Google book?

 The price of a Google Play book is set by the author or whoever holds the rights to the book.

  • How do you price books on Google Play?

To price books on Google Play, authors or sellers would have to use the Partner Center to select the appropriate price, countries where the book should be available, and the appropriate currency.

  • Do you need to pay for Google Play books?

While there is no subscription cost for Google Play books, there is a cost associated with purchasing individual books from the service. 

  • What are some advantages of Google Play Books?

Some distinct advantages of Google Play Books are the wide array of available books, the discoverability of books thanks to the power of google search capabilities, and the user-friendly interface. Another advantage is the wide range of platforms where Google Play Books can be accessed. 

  • What is the difference between Google Play Books and Kindle?

One distinct difference between Google Play Books and Kindle is the read-aloud feature. Kindle does not offer this option at this time but some users prefer having a book read to them at times. However, the functionality of an Amazon Alexa or echo allows users to have Kindle ebooks read aloud to them.

  • What does Google Play Books have to offer?

Google Play Books is an app that allows readers to download ebooks, audiobooks, comics, manga, fiction, non-fiction, or any other genre to read or listen to while they are on the go. Readers can choose from millions of titles to access from a variety of platforms including iOS, Android, or web browsers. 

  • What is the Google Play Books warranty?

Any ebooks purchased on Google Play Books may be refunded within 7 days of purchase. 

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