Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To Kobo I Will Go.... Publishing via WritingLife

It's no secret Kobo, the most popular ereading device in Canada and other countries, has been working on their own self-publishing platform called Writing Life.

I am pleased to share that it is now out of beta and open to all!

I uploaded Cancelled without hesitation! And this is a very, very good thing for authors and readers! And here it it!


About Kobo

Kobo ereaders were sold at Books A Million until recently, and are now sold by Target in the United States. There are also Kobo reading apps. Read here about Kobo's market share internationally!

Why are Readers Going to Like Kobo?

Kobo does not allow public domain content to be published, which should cut down on the "crap." And books can be free at any time, NOT for only 5 days and only on a Kindle.

The .epub file format is convertible to .mobi with Calibre, as long as DRM is not applied (make sure you uncheck that, by default in WritingLife DRM is applied!). epub is THE ebook standard, not .azw or .mobi which are Amazon's proprietary formats. That means, ANY ereader, other than the Kindle family, can read a non DRM file purchased at Kobo.

Kobo still has an affiliate program, unlike Barnes and Noble, so for Nook users and Kobo users, reader communities can still share reviews and links to epubs and make a small amount of money in affiliate monies for their trouble.

Oh, and let's talk about the Kobo website shall we? It integrates with Goodreads! Yep! And, the site has social media buttons integrated right into the page listing, so I can Pin a book on Pinterest, or share it on facebook, or tweet it (Amazon has this after you buy). And on my own listing, where I have downloaded the sample, guess what? It shows right on the cover a blue box that says this book is IN my library! As someone who reads 3-5 books a week, I NEED this feature. I don't know how many times I've sat, wasting 10 minutes to try and decide if I've read a particular Pride and Prejudice continuation, or maybe just one similar, ah forget it I'll buy it, and THEN Amazon tells me "You already purchased this book." GAH!

Finally, and most importantly to readers with multiple devices like me, a Kobo listing CLEARLY states if there is DRM on the file in the eBook Information section. Amazon does too, but it uses the vague terminology "Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited" Huh? Confuse me much? Just say DRM or no DRM.

I am impressed as a reader.

Why Should You As an Author Like Kobo?

Kobo is international. Kobo was international before Amazon cared about those markets. Kobo doesn't have the stigma (and yes, there IS a stigma) of being an "American" gadget. It's Canadian. ;) Best yet, the Writing Life interface is AWESOME....

Royalties: $1.99-$12.99 is a 70% royalty rate.
All other prices are 45%

You can make your book free when you want to. Anytime. :)

Tired of checking KDP daily for your sales and making your own reports? Yeah, me too. Kobo's WritingLife has many of that reporting built in, including your daily sales! YEAH! So now, you can really tell when a book's marketing has made any kind of difference instead of a guess, assuming Amazon updated their KDP stats that day.

Now I have to learn a few more languages and see about advertising my English written book on some international reader sites. :)

Oh some quick FAQs:

You can upload epub straight to Kobo, or they will convert .doc, .docx, or .odt if you follow their style guidelines... (I make epubs with Jutoh as then I can control the metadata)

You can put your book in 3 categories.

DRM is default, make sure you remove it in step 3 if you don't want it.

You don't need an eISBN, but it's optional. After you get an eISBN from Kobo, put it in your Goodreads listing to integrate the two systems.

Uploading is a bit buggy, I kept getting error messages, but once I clicked save and went pack to that step, my cover and file were uploaded. Weird, I know. Might just be today's flurry of publishing activity.

A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and KOBO

WIP: STONE. Never up Mom's expectations, a clothing designer kicks "Mr. Right" to the curb.

Totally for fun I am also working on a Pride and Prejudice What If? His Parson's Wife is supposing both Darcy and Elizabeth make hasty decisions to marry others and then defy society's rules to let love find a way. Yes, it is OH so scandalous!

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