How to upload your own eBooks to Google Book Search

You can upload your personal EPUB and PDF books or documents to Google Book Search to store them online and use them anywhere on any of your compatible devices. This process is similar to what Google allows you to do with Google Play Music.

Uploading books to Google Book Search is done through the Upload Files button on the Google Book Search website. Books can be uploaded from your Google Drive account or from your computer.

Steps to upload your books

Screenshots showing how to upload eBooks to Google Play Books

You can import your eBooks to Google Book Search in just a few steps.

  1. Open My Google Now Playing Books and sign in to your Google account if prompted.
  2. Use the Upload Files button to browse for the eBook.

    To upload a book from your computer, use the Upload tab . Otherwise, look in My Drive to choose an eBook from your Google Drive account.

  3. Click Select when you have chosen all the books you want to upload.

Your articles may take a few minutes to appear on the front page. In some cases, the cover art won’t appear at all, and you’ll have a generic cover or whatever appeared on the first page of the book. There doesn’t seem to be a way to fix that at the moment, but customizable skins may be a future feature.

Another missing feature is the ability to meaningfully organize these books with tags, folders, or collections. You can search for books in your library, but other than that, they’re just organized into separate sections: Uploads, Purchases, Rentals, and Samples.

Problem solving

Are your books not loading in Google Book Search? There are some things you can check.

  • Is your book in a supported format? Your eBook must be in EPUB or PDF format. If you ended up with some other format, like MOBI, you can try converting it using a document conversion program like Caliber. DRM protected books are not supported.
  • Do you have too many books? Don’t think twice, but Google currently only allows you to upload 1,000. You may have to prioritize the documents you want to store in the cloud or find some way to juggle between accounts.
  • Are you signed in to the correct Google account? If you upload a file and it looks fine but then disappears, you probably uploaded it to the wrong account. If you no longer have the original, please download it from Google Book Search and re-upload it to the correct account.


When Google first released Google Book Search and the Google Book Search e-reader, you couldn’t upload your own books. It was a closed system, and you were stuck reading only books that you had bought from Google. Not surprisingly, Google Book Search’s #1 feature request was some kind of cloud-based storage option for personal libraries.

In the early days of Google Book Search, you could download your books and put them into another reading program. You can still do it, but it has some drawbacks. If you use a local eBook reading app like Aldiko, your books are local too. When you pick up your tablet, you won’t be able to continue the book you were reading on your phone. If you lost your phone without backing up those books somewhere else, you also lost the book.

It doesn’t fit the realities of today’s e-book market to keep them offline. Most people who read e-books would prefer to have the option to choose where to buy them, but still be able to read them all from one place.