Of Kindle, Kobo, and Publishing

Kindle and Kobo are two large companies.  By this time, I’m certain most writers have heard of Kindle, and what it can do for with e-books, or how you can make money self-publishing your e-book using Kindle Direct Publishing.  Some people have earned a lot of money with e-books,learn from mistakes and others are happy to see a few dollars every couple of months.  Kindle is the talk of every writer I’ve come across on the Internet, and rightfully so.  Amazon is a a market which is not to be ignored- this is one of the many ways to sell more of your book.There is another market which most authors don’t seem to mention, and that is Kobo.  It is another e-book company, once backed by the Canadian company Indigo Books and Music, and it is now owned by Rakuten.  Kobo, much like Kindle, allows for self-published authors to publish their books with them.

They have much the same price points as Kindle, and the reading tablets are much the same, in fact I have a Kobo and I am quite happy with it.  What difference should it make if you don’t publish on both?

When I began the journey in publishing my book In Search of The Lost Ones, I felt that going and using Kindle Direct publishing was a good fit for me.  At the time, only Smashwords was out there who could format all the books into each company’s e-book formats without much trouble. However, I spent as much time looking at how books could be published and where.

I wanted to maintain a strong relationship with my readers, and felt that going with just Kindle worked for me.  I also, without much thought about the relationship between my own writing ego, and my readers put my book on the Kindle select program.

That choice, and it is a choice, limited me.  I read the contract on Kindle and while it was okay to promote your paperback book on blogs and websites and other places, it was a grey area as to whether you could directly promote your book on your sites even if it was going straight to Amazon. I decided not to mention my e-book in those 90 days, but spent much of my time linking to my paperback edition.  I didn’t look terribly much into Kobo, because I simply didn’t have the time or the energy to format my book yet again.  I didn’t think much of it, and felt there wouldn’t be a market with two places selling my e-book.


Fast Forward 2 years….

I was reading, or re-reading, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published and something struck me- how much I’ve grown as a person and a writer.  One of the many things mentioned is going back and editing- a blog, a book or even an article, update a ebook if something is factually incorrect now.  Or, in my mind finding a great editor who will rip your book apart and demand better- you should expect no less then your best.  What struck me was the idea that a team is better than simply a person.

oops bubbleI’m surprised it took me this long to figure out this, so without much delay I went to Kobo, and went and self-published my e-book there.  I had to laugh at my own mistake- I found it easy to put together my book on Kobo, the same as with Kindle.

Have I noticed anything different by using two markets to publish my book?  On Kindle, at least on I’ve seen days go by without so much as a sale, and It is much the same on Amazon in the UK where although the book is priced at 2.99 or 1.99 (British Pounds) I’ve had to spend more time remembering to promote both correctly and to the right people.

Since I’ve had my book on Kobo, and a focus in Canada, there is much the same thing that happens there, I’ve only had it online with Kobo since September and have not marketed it as much but there are still sales from many countries.  Kobo is a good beginning to where I need to be in terms of getting my book out.  I am pleased to say that even without a lot of marketing because I value relationships with my readers, I still have sales in countries I didn’t expect.

e e cummnings quoteThis isn’t to say I haven’t taken the time to balance my life and my relationships with my readers and my networks.  My blog is being published and now upgraded.  What I’ve done is learned the art of balance, and better communication- because if I’m not communicating to my readers they aren’t getting anything out of my writing.  I’ve learned to look at things differently and to see my own writing as dynamic and personal as I am.  I think my own admission I’ve made mistakes and I need a team behind me has helped me soar as a person and a writer.

It’s not easy, but by using both Kindle and Kobo I’ve seen my sales grow as a result of my willingness to publish with both groups.  I’ve also seen that promotion is a key factor in getting books sales, and I will probably not recommend the Kindle Select Program to people because of the very grey area in the contract’s wording.  However, I do strongly recommend that you get your book published in e-book format, and you use as many avenues as possible to get your book to your readers.