Google Play Books upload hero

Google Play Books gives power to the people to upload their own books

One feature I'm discovering on Google Play Books that I really enjoy is that I get to upload my own files, which I can then read within the Google Play Books app. Just keep in mind that the files should be of the PDF and/or EPUB varieties. The files you upload should also be DRM-free. DRMs are things that allow sellers to control what you do with their product to some extent. You can get DRM-free files from different sources, like Project Gutenberg.

Google Play Books actually makes a pretty decent eReader. One thing I think makes it pretty solid is it syncs notes, highlights, the place you leave off and more across all the devices on which you use Play Books. The syncing takes place with your Google account.

Let's talk about how to get these files uploaded. In this case, I just saw The Giver and I'd really like to check out the book and see how the book and the movie compare to each other. Join me on my journey as I upload a PDF.

Enable book uploads on the app

PDF and EPUB files can be uploaded from the app and from its desktop counterpart.

Before I could upload The Giver via the app, I had to go in and manually enable file uploads. You don't have to do this from the web version of Play Books.

Google Play Books settings

When you open up the app, hit those three lines next to the book in the upper left-hand corner of the screen to bring up the "hamburger menu." Select "Settings."

Google Play Books enable PDF uploading

In the settings menu, you'll see several different options. Go ahead and check "Enable PDF uploading" to be able to proceed.

Uploading books using the app

Sweet! Now you can upload your books.

In order to upload a file, you'll need to have it saved to your phone or tablet. Access the file once you've downloaded it by selecting it in the notifications menu, or where you'll see the rest of your notifications. You can also access the file from "Downloads" on many devices, which you may see as an icon where you access the rest of your apps. Once you've found the file you want to upload, select it.

I downloaded The Giver from a school site and found it in "Downloads."

Upload to Play Books

Once you've selected the file, you should get some different options. Select "Upload to Play Books."

Upload to Play Books

You may see something like this pop up. It basically just explains that the upload may take a few minutes. Go ahead and hit "Got it"! The upload process should begin from there.

Google Play Books upload complete

Once the upload is complete, you'll see something that looks kind of like this. It really shouldn't take very long for the process to finish. For me, it finished within a minute or two and I could access the uploaded book immediately. I've definitely heard of it taking longer for other people, but be patient. Good things come to those who wait.

Uploading books on the web

As I mentioned before, books can also be uploaded on Play Books' website. Once you're signed in, you'll see an "Upload files" icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Select that.

Now select the file you want to upload from your computer.

The file will upload, process, then show up in the "Uploads" section of your library.

Anybody want to start a book club?