Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Kobo Books

August 5th, 2012

When I was in traditional publishing, my books were essentially available only in the USA. I had only one UK edition — Vast — and while a few titles were translated into other languages, distribution of the American editions was extremely limited.

In these days of ebooks and indie publishing, all that’s changed. While Barnes & Noble only sells in the United States, Amazon offers the books in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. That’s a decent list of countries, and Amazon will still sell you a book if you don’t live in one of them — but a hefty charge will be attached to your purchase, and if your e-reader doesn’t handle files in mobi format, too bad.

Of course there’s a great alternative for anyone, anywhere: Book View Café — offering ebooks worldwide with no extra charges, in both epub and mobi formats.

BVC is a great site, with a good selection of genre books, but compared to the big sites out there, traffic is limited.

So I’ve just begun to offer my books through another international retailer, Kobo Books. If you’re a reader in the USA, you might never have heard of Kobo. I think they have a small presence here, but they’re well known around the world.

Until recently, the only way for a small publisher like myself to get into Kobo Books was to publish through a third party, Smashwords, which would then push the books out to Kobo. But I’ve never liked the way Smashwords handles books, so I held back — and last month Kobo finally opened their door to indie publishers like myself, and I uploaded a test book.

That book is Memory, and it’s now live on the site, available in epub format. Other books will soon be going up as well.

Do I recommend Kobo Books to other indie publishers? It’s too soon to say. Do read the contract terms carefully (you always do, don’t you?), know what you’re signing, and good luck!

Posted on: Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at 9:11 am
Categories: Publishing.
Tags: ,

2 Responses to “Kobo Books”

  1. Glen Kilpatrick Says:

    Interesting — They don’t seem to have an FAQ but I was able to glean these important-to-me points:

    * VISA or Mastercard (or PayPal, ugghh, my problem with BookViewCafe) – no Google Shopping anywhere (even for merchants there are Too Many Choices sometimes).

    * Read same book on multiple devices.

    What I didn’t find out was the state of DRM (BVC & Smashwords has none, that means my wierdo tablet is in the running).

    Thanks for the tip, Linda.

  2. Linda Says:

    Memory went up as DRM-free, but it’s something each publisher determines. The DRM status can be seen in the right column under “eBook Information.” Looks like this:
    ISBN: 9780983110088
    Language: English
    Download options: EPUB (DRM-Free)

    There should be a lot more books going up on Kobo over the next few months. Maybe you’ve found your vendor!