Back in February D2D announced that it was adding a new distribution channel: Play Books. And now, 8 months later, they are canceling that distribution channel.
According to the email I got, Google’s restrictions have made maintaining the channel untenable.
Google Play’s current terms of service create a relationship with distributors like D2D that is neither manageable nor scalable, forcing authors and aggregators both to take extreme measures to be listed. Pricing changes, requirements for account management, and other restrictions imposed on our authors make Google Play an unattractive option.
Effective October 30th, Draft2Digital will no longer offer Google Play distribution, we will be closing our Google Play Distribution Beta program, and all titles will be taken down at that time.
What I beleive D2D is referring to is Google’s decision in May 2019 that all authors and publishers with books in Play Books also had to have an account with Play Books – even if the publishers and authors used a distributor. This would make it hard for D2D to do their jobs, yes.
In related news, D2D also announced this week that they have expanded their Universal Book Link service. You can use UBL to find all of the sites where your ebooks are sold, and generate a list of links on a single page so that readers can find your books. This week the service expanded to include audiobooks.