Here at SelfPublishedWhiz.com, we are all about helping you get your book published; whether you want to make selling your books a side hustle, full-time job or just a hobby. While I am personally and advocate for platforms like Amazon and IngramSpark who offer print-on-demand services, it is important to understand that the self-publishing world is much bigger than these platforms!
Kobo is often overlooked, so if you have never heard of it, by the end of this read you will know all you need to know if you decide to publish your book with them.
Amazon KDP Is Not Your Only Option For Self-Publishing!
Amazon KDP may well be the only self-publishing platform you have heard about, but it is not the only option you have. Amazon has a wide reach and a very large marketplace which means while you have access to millions of potential buyers, your book also can get lost in the crowd.
But then again, so does Kobo!
With 275 million readers in 190 countries, you can reach a very large audience that rivals even Amazon KDP. There are even distributors that will help you sign up at Kobo and other e-book publishers. Although, if you take this route your royalties will not be as great as they would be if you signed up independently with each one.
The royalties you can earn through Kobo is up to 70%, and that is worth considering.
Self-Publishing On Kobo
It may be intimidating to publish a book if you are a first-time author. Kobo has simplified the process and cut it down to 4 easy steps.
- Create an account.
- Upload your manuscript.
- Advertise your book.
- Earn your royalties!
I won’t bore you with the “set up your account” process. Chances are you have set up hundreds of accounts website in your lifetime, this is no different. You need to fill in your personal information, email address, password etc.
I am sure I don’t need to prompt you to enter your genuine personal information, particularly where it asks for banking information, tax, and any publishing house name you use (don’t be intimidated by the publishing house term, make one up or simply use your name or pen name).
Now comes the fun part. You need to describe your book. Here is where you take the opportunity to really sell your book! Next to the front cover, this is the first thing potential buyers will see. Learning how to write a kick-ass description will do wonders.
Upload the file, fill out the rights section and then set your price, hit that publish button. So simple.
Once that is done, you are now a published author of an eBook.
It Is A Simple Process, But Get It Right The First Time!
Now that you have an idea of how the process works, here are the details you need to know about to make sure the process goes smoothly, and each step is done right.
#1. Account- as previously mentioned, provide all the correct information. This isn’t the sort of account you want to provide dummy information for as the last thing you want is your book to start making sales only to have your payment being held up.
#2. Manuscript- ensure your eBook manuscript is ready to go and in the correct format; you can use any one of the following formats:
Although .MOBI is on the list, I would not recommend it, for Kobo. Mobi is Amazon Kindle’s primary format and how it looks on Kobo may not be that pleasing to your or your readers’ eyes. Format your manuscript so that it is clear and will show up properly on any tablet.
#3. Cover- cover art is not something I leave to the last minute and neither should you – it is very important. But if you have, and are just deciding on some art now you might want to use a service such as Fiverr to hire a cheap freelancer to get it done for you. Otherwise, you can use free services like Photoscape, Canva etc. to design one.
The cover should be in .jpg/.jpeg or .png format with a 1 x 1.6 ratio (1600 by 2560 or 2500 by 4000 pixels). Keep in mind the file size should not be more than 5 MB.
#4. ISBN- this is not mandatory for -books, but it is helpful especially if you have a print version of your manuscript that has previously been published. If Kobo does not provide an ISBN number, there are other ways of obtaining one.
Those methods are found at this link, and you will have to scroll down to find the instructions. At the bottom of the page, there is a button you can push to learn more about ISBN numbers and their importance.
#5. Writing your book description- this needs to be concise, accurate, and honest. You are boiling your content down to one or two paragraphs. You can add some positive reviews if you want as well at this stage of the process.
This is an important step to do accurately as it protects your book from being stolen or mishandled. Don’t skip any of these steps as they are designed to keep your rights from being violated as well as make sure you get credit for your work.
Here are the items you need to make sure you understand, know how to use, and make the right decisions:
- DRM- or otherwise known as Digital Rights Media and this option helps protect your book from being pirated. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect system, and there are people who can remove this protection quite easily
- Kobo Plus- this is the next step after DRM, and when you allow it to be placed on your work, it allows people from Belgium and the Netherlands to access your book through a subscription service. The royalties you get will be at a different and lower rate than your regular royalties. Plus, there is no exclusivity clause in this option like there is with Kindle.
- OneDrive catalog- this is optional as well, and it helps market your book to those people who use this system when they buy books. If you use a distributor like Draft2Digital, they have similar options in their publishing process.
This is the last step in the Kobo publishing process, and it is an important one. The price you set for your work will influence how big your royalty payments will be. Kobo has three levels of royalty payments, 70%, 45%, and 20%, and the cost of your book will determine which payment you receive (5).
To receive the 70% level, your e-book must be listed at $2.99 or above in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It also has to be listed at or above 1.99 BP for the UK and 1.99 Euros for the rest of Europe (5).
Some final words
Once you have completed the process, all you have to do is hit that publish button, and your book is set to be sold. Kobo will send you a message that it may take between24 and 72 hours before it is published and available for purchases but that time frame is not exact.
Sometimes it can take less and sometimes it can take more. Waiting three more days is not going to be that bad, especially since you spent a long time writing your book. Once it is done, your work will be made available to the people in almost 200 countries of the world.
That is a good feeling.