How to Share eBook Notes & Highlights

Let’s say someone gives you an eBook, and you want to make comments in the text of the book. For example, you want to point out typos or make suggestions concerning wording, then share those comments with the author.

With Kindle documents, you simply can’t do that (as of May, 2016). Aargh! You can do it with an eBook that you purchased from the Kindle store, but not with documents you loaded yourself.

However, you can do this with Google’s eBook reader, Google Play Books (yes, that’s a stupid name for an eReader).

I use the Play Books reader when proofreading my own books. That is, I read my work-in-progress in Play Books (on my Nexus 7), highlight an error, tap to add a note, and dictate my note with the device’s speech-to-text.

The notes are available on Google Drive, and I can view them or share them with someone else.

If you want to do this, here’s how:

Step 1: Install Google Play Books

To get Google Play Books for your iOS device, click here. To get it for an Android device, click here. I actually prefer reading books with this reader (as opposed to the Kindle Reader), because the interface is snappier, and I have more control over line spacing, etc.

Step 2: Tell Play Books to Save Your Notes

Open Play Books on your device, choose Settings, and select the option for Saving Notes, like this:

PlaySettings

Step 3: Get Google Drive

Set up your Google Drive here.

Step 4: Load the Document into the Google Play Books Reader

Go here: https://play.google.com/books and choose Upload Files in the top right corner of the page. It should look like this:

UploadBooks


Okay, that was a little messy, but now you’re all set.

When you read an eBook, you can make a note, like this:

Notes3

 

On your PC, on the Google Drive web page, you should see a folder like this:

Folder

In that folder, you’ll find a document holding the notes for the eBook. Open that document, and you’ll see your notes, like this:

DriveNotes

Note the warning in the red box!

You can download that document and share it, or simply share the Google Drive link to it.


 

Phew! That was more complicated than I thought. Did it work for you?

Posted in Blog