Kobo Publishing: Fulfilling Your Dream to Be an Author
Writing your first book can seem a bit daunting. But what do you do as soon as you have that book completed? How do you actually go about publishing your book? Well, luckily for you, we have the answers, and we are going to give them to you via Kobo Inc.!
A Little History on Kobo
For many individuals who have taken the leap and wanted to become a self-publisher, you may already be well acquainted with Kobo as well as the Kobo eReader.
But for those of you that aren't as up-to-date, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is a Canadian company that specializes primarily in publishing ebooks, audiobooks, and developing ereaders. To show how committed they were to their craft, they even released their own tablet in 2012!
To add a little bit more to the history, Kobo currently employs approximately 350 people, with the company now under the leadership of its CEO Michael Tamblyn.
You may be familiar with other self-publishing sites similar to Kobo, but if we look at the feedback from those that have trusted Kobo with their content, many self-publishers have said that Kobo allows them to live the dream of having their own writing life. More specifically, they have coined it the "Kobo writing life."
Let's take this opportunity to convince you to adopt the Kobo writing life, that is, if you aren't already convinced!
Why Should You Publish With Kobo?
The Kobo writing life provides everyone with an opportunity to live their dream of becoming a published author. This is all thanks to Kobo allowing your ebook to be present on their Kobo store, site, and tablet.
With that being said, one of the largest chain stores worldwide, Walmart, stocks Kobo tablets. This means that when you publish your ebook, you are giving more than 275 million customers per week the opportunity to interact with your ebook content.
The Kobo writing life has become the best self-publishing tool to ensure that your content can reach readers worldwide. With over six million ebooks on the Kobo Plus platform, Rakuten Kobo really hit it big when they created this digital publishing platform.
If the number of ebooks on the platform wasn't enough, Kobo also has customers in more than 190 countries! Just think of the degree of exposure you are guaranteed to get when you decide to partner with Kobo as your publisher.
With many other publishing sites, there is a clause that restricts you from publishing elsewhere. However, with Kobo, when you have your finished book, you can publish it with them and other publishers. There is no exclusivity! Kobo supports you, giving you the chance to really enter the global market.
One of the biggest highlights of the Kobo writing life is that when you choose to self-publish your work on the Kobo website, you pay no fees! Yes, it is absolutely free! It's for this reason that Kobo carries immense weight in the publishing world.
What's more: Kobo offers its own "Kobo Plus," an ebook subscription service that is similar to the well-known Kindle Unlimited. Kobo even provides the opportunity for you to enroll your ebook in this service.
An added feature, similar to Facebook Ads, is what Kobo calls promotional pricing. This pricing allows more readers to see the content that you have written. What a way to increase your visibility, right?
Kobo Plus is only the beginning of the vast array of new and free services that Kobo Inc. currently offers and is in the process of creating. With the amount of traction and support it has been receiving, one can only expect great technological advancements to be introduced soon!
The Monetary Gain From Using Kobo Self-Publishing
You may want to know how much money you'll be getting in your bank account if you publish through Kobo, right? While adopting the Kobo writing life is fun, there needs to be some sort of financial incentive to keep going!
Depending on whether your book is part of the public domain or not, as well as your initial retail price, your royalty amount will be calculated.
You then have two choices of how to secure the money you have so rightfully earned: You can choose whether you want your royalties to be deposited directly into your bank account or whether you want to use Kobo's free online wallet feature.
Let's look at a book that an author has set at a list price of $9.99. Because the cost is more than $2.99, you will be able to claim 70% in royalties each time your book is sold.
However, if your book is in the public domain, no matter what the cost of the book is, you will only be able to claim 20% as royalties.
In order for you to transfer your earned royalties from your online account into your bank account, you need to make sure that the currency your country is working with is supported on the Kobo website.
Access to how much revenue you have secured can be displayed on Kobo's easy-to-use dashboard. And if you have two or more self-published books, it will group all your earnings together.
If you are struggling with anything to do with revenue or you have a query about how much royalties you have earned, make sure to get in contact with a Kobo representative! They can be accessed with a simple click on the "help" tab in the upper right-hand corner of their dashboard.
Kobo Writing Life: All You Need to Know About Kobo Book Publishing
With "Kobo writing life" having been coined for everyone who is in some way a part of the writing family, Kobo has created an author service. This service is specifically for those who struggle to find people to create their covers, or just don't know where to purchase a primary print ISBN.
However, there is a bit of a snag. In order to publish your ebook, it needs to be approved by the Kobo team. It's been noted that the main reason authors had their work rejected was because they did not own the rights to each element of their book. More specifically, their cover art!
For Kobo to sell books on their platform, they need to make sure the content they are putting under its name is 100% authentic. After all, should a case of copyrighted work be discovered, the author isn't the only one that will undergo litigation.
This is why we would recommend spending a little extra cash on the Kobo Writing Life (KWL) services to ensure you have the best chance to publish your book.
Advice From Rakuten Kobo Inc.
A few pearls of wisdom from Mr. Tamblyn and his team can go a long way in making your self-publishing journey that much easier.
Kobo, as a platform that sells ebooks, needs to make sure the file types they accept are compatible with their ereaders.
After all, that is how they have moved away from the "traditionally published" manner of supplying reading material and pivoted into digital publishing.
So, with that in mind, Kobo Inc. recommends that you submit your work in EPUB-file format. Although they accept ".mobi" and ".docx" file types, you'll want to use their recommended format if you want to get into their good books—pardon the pun!
To make this entire process easier for the author, they have an EPUB conversion tool that will get your book into a format worthy of the Kobo Inc. standard.
As well as using the proper file format, you need to make sure that all of your digital rights management check out. Authenticity is key, and you won't be able to reach more readers if Kobo, as a publisher, does not approve your content. How do they check your content? All you have to do is upload everything to their site!
Here at The Urban Writers, we allow you to be the new author that you want to be! We will walk with you from writing your new book based on your outline, editing it, providing cover art, and making it ready to be Kobo approved! This is exactly what our all-inclusive platinum bundle achieves!
Now that you're ready to self-publish, and you have been approved by Kobo as your publisher, you're ready for the next pearl of wisdom—hype up your pre-orders!
Allowing adequate time for pre-orders to be taken, and advertising their availability, is one of the ways to make your ebook launch a success! Throw this in with the anticipated release date of your new ebook, and you are guaranteed a successful launch.
Not to mention, if you are part of Kobo's subscription service, you are well on your way to accessing one reader after another. They will simply click on the ebook or audiobook that you published, and it will automatically download!
The last pearl of wisdom from Rakuten Kobo is to make use of the KWL team! They are experts on how you should add ebook content, the best way to structure a pre-order, and even what the anticipated publication date and promotional pricing of your new ebook should be!
Now that you have checked all the boxes, you can go ahead and click that "Publish eBook" button to start making sales and to have access to your earnings directly on the easy-to-use dashboard.
The Kobo eReader
Whether you have been a part of the Kobo Writing Life program, or you have heard the wisdom of Rakuten Kobo and have bought your own Kobo eReader, you have moved forward in more ways than one!
Not only will your bank account thank you, but as one of the many Kobo readers out there, you will have access to new ebooks as they're published. We're sure by now you see that Kobo Writing Life is the way to go!
Some veteran authors will even use Kobo to provide free snippets of sequels they have already written. It's a platform perk enjoyed by both new and experienced writers!
The Kobo subscription service isn't a "good-to-have." It is a must-have! It allows you to have access to a world filled with different ebooks and audiobooks, easily accessed by a simple click of a button to purchase and download.
For the price you pay, you gain so much more than just a Kobo account. You have a wealth of services available to you that no Kindle would be able to give you. Not to mention all the free things you get when purchasing an eReader!
Whether you want to create a world or be a part of somebody else's world, Kobo Inc. allows you to do both. To get access to all of Kobo's extra features, such as Kobo Plus, you just need to navigate through your eReader!
The Six-Step Process
You've written your own book, thought about how you can generate sales, and are now ready to publish your ebook!
At this point, we have probably convinced you to use Rakuten Kobo Inc. to make your publishing dreams come true. So, to make sure you get your royalty earnings directly deposited into your bank account, follow the six steps below to the letter.
Step 1: Make Sure to Sign Up for Kobo Writing Life
As mentioned earlier, the Kobo Writing Life program will allow you to do more than just dip a toe into the global market. Now, you'll be able to access readers with a love for ebooks and audiobooks.
What we haven't yet mentioned about Kobo Writing Life is that you'll be able to use the platform to create your own content to upload on Kobo. You don't necessarily need to employ the expertise of another Kobo-approved specialist.
With Kobo Writing Life, you have access to what is known as "OverDrive." Even though you can use the free features on Kobo to generate sales and publish your own ebooks, OverDrive widens your market so you can sell to different libraries across the world.
As soon as your Kobo Writing Life account has been created, you can start to upload all the specifics for your ebook or audiobook as required by Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Step 2: The Kobo Author Dashboard—Give Your Ebook Some Context
This is the part where you upload everything pertaining to your book using the prompts that the Kobo website gives you.
They will ask you to input all the author information, upload your book cover in JPG or PNG format, provide a synopsis of your book, and even go so far as to ask if you are a first time publisher.
When it comes to inputting your e-ISBN or primary print ISBN, you can either choose to purchase one, or you can go ahead and publish your ebook without it.
Step 3: Adding the Content of Your Ebook
Next, you will need to submit your entire manuscript! The Kobo team, along with key evaluators, will then go through your manuscript and list any changes that you need to make in order for your validation to be a success.
One thing that we will keep remind you of is that in order to make sales, your ebook needs to be approved by Kobo!
As we have mentioned previously, before submitting, check your file and make sure it is in Kobo's recommended EPUB format. The conversion to this file type is free, so you won't need to worry about any extra charges.
Step 4: The Kobo Press—What About Rights and Distribution Processes?
We spoke about Digital Rights Management (DRM) before, but this is where you need to choose whether you want to enable DRM or not.
If you choose to enable DRM, you will be preventing readers from copying or sharing your ebooks. Unless you want your ebooks to be free, we recommend enabling it!
Keep in mind that with sharing rights comes your geographical distribution rights. You will need to make the decision whether to sell in specific territories or if you are going to generate sales worldwide. The latter would seem like the best option, especially when you advertise the pre-order!
When looking at the distribution of your ebook, it is important to consider Kobo Plus. From the self-publishing perspective, you can enable this service on your ebooks to enhance your book's discoverability and really get your ebook noticed! The more people who see your content, the more people will talk about it, and the more popular you and your books will become.
Step 5: It's Time to Set the Price
Self-publishing takes a lot of time and effort. This is why it's important to set a price that reflects that! We've discussed how the royalties are calculated, and what price you should sell your ebooks at to generate the most revenue, but sometimes, starting at a lower price isn't a bad idea.
As someone who may be new to self-publishing, your main goal should be getting your ebooks or audiobooks out to as many readers as possible. Whether it be by using Kobo or other publishers, you want to generate sales.
From Kobo's perspective, you want your readers to love your content so much that they get Kobo Plus just to read all of your work. By selling a one-hundred-page ebook for more than $9.99, you may get fewer sales than you would have hoped for.
Start your price off low, make those sales, and then boost your price a bit when popularity starts to increase. That is how you maximize the amount of money that enters your account. In the beginning stages of your self-publishing career, sales really are everything!
Step 6: Time to Publish
Whether you're using Kobo to share your content for free with the rest of the world, or whether you're trying to create a profession as an author by generating sales, you have reached a milestone!
You can now publish your own ebook! You've done it! Now Kobo readers will be able to interact with the content you have written.
Kobo has created a platform for self-publishers and readers alike. Not only is it a great foundation for aspiring writers to kick-start their writing life, but it is equipped with added features such as Kobo Plus that allow readers to access as many ebooks and audiobooks as they would like to.
Selling ebooks is one aspect of becoming a successful author. The next test is creating a community that values your writing style enough to continually support all of your endeavors.
With a Kobo Writing Life team there to guide you throughout your self-publishing journey, you will be given the opportunity to generate sales on a scale you never knew was possible, create free content that is easily distributable, and even allow yourself to grow professionally in the process.