Kobo Writing Life Review

By on Apr 21, 2014 in Self-Publishing Platform Reviews

kobo writing life

The self-publishing route is becoming increasing popular with both new and established authors as a means to get their books into readers’ hands quickly. This is evident from the number of self-publishing platforms that are cropping up. Gone are the days when authors associated self-publishing with Amazon.

Kobo Writing Life (KWL) is a recently launched (2012) self-publishing platform that promises to give Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program stiff competition in coming years. Kobo has many of the features that have made the Amazon KDP program popular, and some other attractive features as well.

The following Kobo Writing Life review will tell you all you need to know about self-publishing on Kobo:

Self-Published e-Books on Kobo Will have a Fairly Large Reach

Kobo has a good e-book distribution channel, called Kobo Reading Life, which has a wide international readers’ network. As an e-book store, it is definitely showing fantastic growth. Similar to Amazon, Kobo also has its own line of e-readers and other reading devices. The Kobo reading app is also quite good and works on various devices and platforms. Kobo also has recently started a partnership with the American Booksellers Association, which lets indie book stores sell e-books too. KWL authors can also hold in-store promotional events for their e-books at participating book stores.

Self-Publishing your e-Book on Kobo is Very Easy

The KWL platform allows writers to upload their manuscripts in five simple steps, and then converts it into epub format and makes it available to a global audience. The user guide and conversion guidelines are user-friendly and easy to follow. There is a preview option after conversion to e-book format, and also revisions and changes can be made easily, with a downtime (or off-shelf time) of around 24- 48 hours.

Books can be in any language and published through the general Kobo site, however Kobo has six specific e-bookstores in the popular languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish). It is free to self-publish on KWL, and authors can set their own e-book prices in different currencies. Currently, KWL offers self-publishing only as e-book format and does not have a print-to-order version, unlike Amazon.

Royalties and Payment

KWL offers authors a 70% royalty rate on e-books priced $2.99 USD and above. Books priced below $2.99 USD earn 45% royalty. Kobo’s director of self-publishing claims that the $2.99 – 5.99 price range is the top selling category.

Earnings are paid to authors in their local currency through direct deposit, 45 days after the end of each month where they’ve earned more than $50 USD. Otherwise, payments are made twice a year.

One distinct advantage of Kobo over Amazon is that it does not require any exclusivity in order for authors to avail the benefits of free promotions. You can give away your e-books for free at any time as part of your promotional and audience building plans. Also, the 70% royalty price point is lower at $1.99 in Kobo as compared to the minimum $2.99 price set by KDP.

Tracking Sales

KWL has a nice ‘Dashboard’ feature that allows authors to track their estimated earnings and e-book sales across different regions. If you have several titles, you can also track sales by book titles. An attractive feature is that authors can set release dates and collect pre-orders for their books. This can help authors to boost their titles up the bestseller lists.

Image credit: Jennie Faber on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0

CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel.


    1 Comment

  1. is kobo publishing available in india.. can an author from india publish on kobo


    November 12, 2016


  1. How to Sell eBooks Quicker - eBooks India | eBooks India - […] Do you intend to sell through the established markets of Amazon, Apple iBookStore, Kobo or […]

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