Author Topic: Google Play downloads suffering, but why?  (Read 1533 times)


Google Play downloads suffering, but why?
« on: January 11, 2019, 12:49:25 PM »
First off, I'll mention that Google Play used to be my biggest moneymaker.  With every new perma-free book I'd get 100-300 downloads the first day and then be see a strong download count for several months after that.

Since January 2018 my sales and downloads have dropped.  I'm now making less than half what I used to.  I released a new perma-free the other day and got 3 downloads the first day.  Same categories, same genre, etc. I've always written in, poorer results.  It's the paranormal romance genre, so I don't think it's so niche-y that Google Play readers don't read it anymore.

Has anyone else seen this drop?  Does anyone know of a way to get out of this (possible) change in algorithm Google might have pulled?


Re: Google Play downloads suffering, but why?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 09:41:17 PM »
I think something did change there.  When I opened up google play a couple of weeks ago the stuff I saw first was under the banner "Free Series Starter".  I had never noticed that before, but I could be wrong and I just never noticed it.  Anyway, I asked them (via chat) how to get my books on that page.  The guy couldn't tell me but I did get an email back a couple of days later that it was the algorithms.  I put their email to me below.  I poked around in the books on that page (50 of them) and best I can figure, they had a lot of reviews.  One had 800!  On Google play!  My mind wobbled a little at that.  About 50% of the time now (I'm not keeping an exact count) when I open google play it gives me that Free Series Starter at the top.

I don't have any advice, not really, sorry.  You can only check to see your book in your country so you can chat with them and make sure it is showing properly in other countries, they will check that for you.  You can also ask them via chat for any advice for the algorithms.  They may not be able to tell you anything, but when ever I needed their help I have always been #1 in the queue for chat so it isn't a huge time sink. 

Sorry for your troubles.

The email:

Please know that the number of the books can be displayed on a particular page on Google Play store is limited and Google is aiming to offer customized and personalized experience on Google Play so, each user will see different titles on their respective home page based on their preferences.

Further, the listing of books on Google Play store is an automated process which runs on a predefined set of algorithms and the process cannot be altered manually. Hence, we will be unable to manually add books to a particular page on Google Play store. 

In an effort to enrich your catalog coverage on Google Books and the Google Play store, I'd like to encourage you to review the books in your Partner Center account and make sure to provide as much information as possible on the Metadata and Settings tab. Complete metadata makes it easier for readers to discover and search for your books, and may also improve your sales.

If you'd like to experiment with pricing, you can add new prices with start and end dates, or submit a spreadsheet with promotional prices. Also, if you're interested in using some other Google products to help promote your book, especially if you have a website of your own, consider using AdWords and YouTube!

Naturally, different strategies are effective for different books, so I encourage you to consider what would work best for yours. We'll also do our part to continue to grow Google Play's user base.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to reply if you've further questions or concerns.
Best regards,

C. Gockel

Re: Google Play downloads suffering, but why?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 03:59:47 AM »
Kinky cat is it possible your genre is over saturated? I write UF and Sci-Fi and have seen my income on Google increase.

I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
C. Gockel | facebook | tumblr | website

Kate Elizabeth

Re: Google Play downloads suffering, but why?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 07:58:01 AM »
The only thing lately that I seem to be selling is a stepbrother romance, under a throwaway pen name.  I'm grateful for the money, but I want to tell the readers, "I have some spicy romance, and sweet romance, too!"

Simon Haynes

Re: Google Play downloads suffering, but why?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 09:56:34 PM »
I'm getting 30-40 downloads per day on Google Play, but all for free SF/Fantasy short stories. It's the only place people really download my short fiction, but on the other hand I don't sell a lot of actual novels on the Play Store.