The Down Low on Kobo


I’m a big believer in Kobo, of late. I’m not getting rich with them–in fact, they’re a distant tie for fourth in my sales, but I believe. [My sales are 64% Kindle, 24% Nook, 10% iBooks, and only 1% each Kobo and Google Play. (Smashwords isn’t even in the running, with 1 sale for every 5000 on Kindle, but they’re still on my list of web sales channels mainly because I need a pre-order and free ebook aggregator for Nook and iBooks, see post on that HERE, and below for more.)] The question you may be asking, is why? Why do I believe in Kobo so much?

Let me count the ways . . .

Way One:

Kobo has a fantastic international presence, especially in their headquarters country of Canada. Want to break into Malaysia? Turkey? Singapore? Kobo is your vendor. And it’s not just the smaller international markets. In the last 30 days, I sold five ebooks in Australia on Kindle. By all rights then, I should have sold like -60 on Kobo. But I haven’t, I’ve sold three in Australia, nearly as many as on Kindle. Because internationally, Kobo rocks. And I’ve sold 18 Kindle ebooks in Canada, yet Kobo kicked Kindle’s butt with SIXTY-TWO. Yeah, Kobo rocks the world.

Way Two:

Kobo allows indies to directly upload their ebooks for sale as PRE-ORDER. Guess who else out of Kindle, Nook, and iBooks allow that? That would be “none of them.” Who else does? Google Play and Smashwords. Of the big three, Kindle doesn’t allow indies to offer pre-order at all, and iBooks and Nook only allow it through aggregation, where authors lose a piece of their royalty.

Pre-order is huge, and will become even a bigger deal to an author the more complementary books they have on their sales shelf, as their numbers of readers grow, and as their sales grow. An author needs to maximize sales each time a happy readers discovers them, and pre-orders are a great way to do that. So why make it harder than it has to be, or give away a portion of your royalty when you don’t have to? Thank you, Kobo.

Way Three:

Kobo lets indies offer their ebooks free to readers, AND they run a special page promoting first-in-series-free, for which they don’t charge the authors a cent. Did you hear that? Kobo gets it that when NEW readers read a free book that they wouldn’t have otherwise picked up, that they often BUY the other books in the series, books they never would have purchased without that prod to discoverability that first-in-series-free gives them. And Kobo benefits from that.

Guess who else of Kindle, Nook, and iBooks allow indies to offer their books free, directly, all the time, to readers? That would be none. Who else does? Google Play and Smashwords. But neither of them have the first-in-series-free promotion. And, of the big three, Kindle only allows their KDP Select authors (those that sell exclusively on Kindle) up to five free days a month. iBooks and Nook allow unlimited free, but only through aggregation, where the author loses a piece of the royalty.

So, those are the three main reasons that I believe in Kobo. Plus, in the last few months I’m selling an average of more than four books per day on Kobo. That means I’m on pace to make over $3000 this year with them. In part, this is because more and more promoters include links to to Kobo book sales pages (BookBub, ebookSoda, eReaderNewsToday, Story Finds, etc.). What’s not to believe in about that?


Pamela Fagan Hutchins, President of Houston Writers Guild, is an10006025_10152294921092604_1598429323_oemployment attorney and workplace investigator by day who by night writes award-winning and bestselling romantic mysteries (perma-freeSaving GraceLeaving AnnaliseFinding Harmony) and hilarious nonfiction (How to Screw Up Your KidsWhat Kind of Loser Indie Publishes?, and others). She is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start. Visit her website, or follow her on Facebook

2 thoughts on “The Down Low on Kobo

  1. Eric Hutchins

    It is fun to watch you slowly gain traction on Kobo. It is also great to see so many international sales. What I think is really important about that is that it is a smaller pond, so if you sell a decent amount of books there, while that might be lost in the ocean of sales in large countries, in the small ones it makes you a big fish, and as we have said a thousand times, people buy what they think other people are buying.
    And I have to say Kobo’s staff are some of the nicest, friendliest and most helpful people in the business. THEY GET IT.

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