Why publishing an ebook on Kobo?
A couple of months ago, I barely knew anything about self-publishing and ebook retailers. Kobo sounded to me more like a Japanese Anime title. But, now I know: Kobo is far greater than this!
In this post, Kobo 101 – Part 1, I will tell you why you should publish your ebook on Kobo, I will show you how to create an account on Kobo and how to register as a Kobo Author.
What is Kobo share in the digital ebook market in the US?
According to the latest edition of the Author Earnings Report (data from the end of 2015), 95% of US ebook sales go through only 5 major online retailers.
- Amazon gets first place with 74% of units sold and 71% fo the dollars spent
- AppleiBooks, second place with 10% to 12% of sales
- B&N Nook, third place with 7% to 8%
- Kobo US, fourth place with 3 to 4%
- and GooglePlay Books with 1 to 2%
Can we track US ebook sales then?
Ebooks sales are in fact hard to track. Industry numbers are different whether they come from one source or another (the Association of American Publishers, Nielsen Book Scan…) According to the Author Earning Report it is sales are not easy to track because:
- The largest online retailers don’t report ebook sales
- A large share of all daily ebook purchases are ebooks published by non-traductional sources.
- Most don’t use ISBN numbers
- They share of consumer ebook dollar is rapidly growing
Tracking US ebook sales is a tough subject that would require a longer post with deeper information. I just wanted to mention it here regardless.
Kobo : a New Player but Strong with a Global Reach!
Kobo is a fairly new company but, as you saw above in the graphics, one that cannot be neglected, with its 4th place in the US major ebook retailers’ market. Indeed, Kobo has very quickly taken its place into the digital book market.
Originally, Kobo is a Canadian company that was created in 2009. Only 7 years ago, impressive!! Since 2012, it has become a subsidiary of the giant Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten. Kobo sells e-books, e-readers (its e-readers compete with Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook), but also tablet computers. Kobo is an anagram of the word book.
What the Indie Author should just know is that:
- Kobo is a eReading service with over 4 million eBooks, newspaper, and magazines.
- And, its focus is the international market. Kobo has over 12 million readers and is used in 190 countries. Its device and app supports 68 languages.
So, are you not convinced by now? Wait!
Dashboard Dynamics, a tool that monitors your sale
We (indie authors) all want to know how well our book sell? Where do they sell? How many of them have we sold? How much money have we made as of today? You don’t need to have adds-on options to figure out about your book’s statistics, no html code to be added into your website widgets either. Everything in one place and real-time!
I have just published my first book with Kobo so I am very excited about this feature. I will keep you posted if I found any flaws there (be patient.)
Kobo: a very User-friendly platform for indie authors
You might experience some hardship (like I did) when you publish your ebook with retailers like iBook and B&N Nook. Publishing my book Tale of a Job Interview at OhlalaLand with Amazon was fairly easy. However, I did encounter some difficulty with Amazon when installing Kindle Previewer on my iMac. That was because I was using El Capitan! (I’ll publish a post about it.)
But my dear indie author friends with Kobo, you are done in a few minutes! And here is how to do it:
Create an account on Kobo
Go to Kobo’s Writing Life which is the name for its self-publishing platform.
Click to create an account, it opens a new page. Click to sign in.
Enter your email, create a password.
A tip: I know that you are smart and that have a good memory because you eat a lot of fish! but, I advise you to write down the password for Kobo somewhere. And, not just somewhere on your computer because computers and drives DO burn out sometimes you know! Selp-publishing a book means creating a lot of accounts and passwords on many different websites so it doesn’t hurt to keep some paper traces! As far as I am concerned, I write down all my accounts and passwords info into a file folder that I then put into a file cabinet. Sometimes old fashion ways still work!Congrats! Now, a new page has opened. You are now going to register to become a Kobo Author, yeah!!
Become a Kobo Author:
fill up your contact info, mailing address, email settings and how you discovered Kobo.
Tip: Don’t just click at the bottom and accept the terms yet. 1. Print or save as pdf the terms of Services. 2. Copy their email address and save it somewhere (firstname.lastname@example.org) 3. Now: yes accept the terms and continue.
Go to your email inbox and click on the link to verify your account.
Enter your payment details. Compare to other retailers such as Amazon or Ibook, Kobo doesn’t require that you fill up a W9. It only wants your bank info so you can receive your royalties.
One strange thing, is that Kobo put a link to a video tutorial on this page. When I saw it, I thought it got to deal with the payment details page but in fact it didn’t. It shows you how to create your ebook and publish it on Kobo platform–which is great but the link to this video should have appeared on the welcome page, not here.
so, open the link to the video tutorial in a new window and minimize it for now or put it on your second monitor for now if you have one.
CONGRATULATIONS!! You have now completed the process and are now a proud Kobo Author. You are then redirected to “My account” page.
Now that you know why you should publish your ebook on Kobo and that you have created an account and registered yourself as a Kobo Author, you are ready to create and publish your first book with Kobo. So, check my second post on Kobo 101 (coming up in a few days): Kobo 101 – part 2 – How to Create and Publish Your Ebook on Kobo.
Oh, wait a second! I do not have reviews on Kobo for my book yet. So, here is my special deal to YOU! The first 15 people who go and write a review on Kobo for my book, Tale of a Job Interview at OhlalaLand, will also get a signed copy directly mailed to their home! (once the review is live, send me an email with your address and I will mail it to you.) Thank you for your support!