If you publish wide, as I do, then you will want to sell more books on the other platforms in order to reduce your reliance on the largest store and develop relationships with other readers in other markets.
As Kobo Writing Life European Manager, I’ve had the chance to often meet and talk with Joanna Penn about indie authors and the self-publishing career.
Many things have changed on the platform within the past five years and we care a lot about our authors’ feedback to improve our service.
When I meet with indie authors at fairs, they often ask for tips to optimize their presence on Kobo. Mostly, they are looking for ways to promote their books and make more sales on our store.
Of course, promotion is key. But there are a number of other factors that help reach more readers and thus, make more sales. If you want to know how you could take your publishing career up to the next level and significantly increase your sales on Kobo, you are in the right place!
Check out this insider’s guide to the numerous opportunities offered by Kobo Writing Life (KWL), including the most recent upgrades of our platform.
1. Enter KWL’s Promotional Campaigns
The Kobo Writing Life dashboard is the key to your publishing journey on Kobo. One of the perks of the Kobo Writing Life dashboard is the promotions tab. The tab on your dashboard lists all of our promotional opportunities available for KWL authors.
You’ll have the chance to submit your titles to be part of onsite sales and email promotions like price drops, buy more save more, category page features, free eBook promotions, daily deals, and double daily deals.
We have a lot of promotions to choose from, and want to help you get your books in front of readers! You can learn more here. Please note that this tool is still in beta mode – simply send us an email and we’ll get it added to your dashboard!
At this time, the promotions tool is only for English language titles, and we are not able to promote erotica.
For non-English titles, the Kobo Writing Life European Team works closely with Kobo’s local merchandisers to get placement for our titles on the Kobo store.
If you wish to promote your titles in non-English languages, send us an email at email@example.com and tell us more about your titles.
2. Take Advantage Of Preorder Sales
Want to put your book up for sale ahead of release? No problem.
The Kobo Writing Life dashboard supports preorders. You can thus upload your book as far in the future as you would like, so you can drum up excitement for a new release before your launch date.
Just remember to upload your final file 48 hours ahead of your release date!
[Note: you cannot set preorders for free ebooks.]
3. Use NetGalley Via KWL
NetGalley is one of our newest promotion tools.
Every month, Kobo authors have the opportunity to apply for listing on the Kobo Writing Life page to reach new readers and even book bloggers. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Currently available for English-language titles only.
4. Benefit From Kobo’s Global Reach
At Kobo Writing Life we truly believe in selling to a global audience. Our pricing tool gives you the ability to set prices for over 16 currencies, and you can also choose which territories you’d like to sell your book in as well.
Kobo has retail partnerships with stores all over the world, with stores like FNAC, Mondadori, and Indigo.
We recommend optimizing your pricing for each territory to take advantage of those partnerships.
5. Distribute To OverDrive Through KWL
Did you know that Kobo Writing Life authors can directly reach library readers by distributing via the dashboard to OverDrive?
Kobo and Overdrive are sister companies, both owned by Rakuten, and we’ve worked together to give KWL authors a simple way to get your titles to library readers. By opting your titles in to OverDrive’s library marketplace through Kobo Writing Life directly, you have better terms than you would with a third-party aggregator.
You’ll get 50% of the retail price (the highest of any platform) and you won’t have to pay an aggregator fee. You can learn more about libraries and indie authors’ books here.
6. Opt in for Kobo Plus, Kobo’s Subscription Service
Kobo Plus is Kobo’s subscription service specifically in Belgium and the Netherlands. It’s aimed at “all you can consume” readers and has many English titles.
It’s a great opportunity to reach readers you may not otherwise. It’s a collaboration with Kobo’s partner in the Netherlands, BOL.
You can opt your titles in through your dashboard easily in the rights and distribution section of your title. There’s no exclusivity required, but we do ask you to leave your titles in for 90 days to gain traction.
7. Track Your Sales Analytics
On the Kobo Writing Life dashboard, we have all kinds of sales analytics to help authors track their sales. Our sales stats are updated in real time, and authors can look at their top titles and top-selling regions at a quick glance. We even track free downloads so you can see how many readers are downloading your free books.
These stats will help you figure out where your books are selling quickly – and where you might need to ramp up your advertising. Note that you can find all your sales reports in your dashboard anytime, on top of these stats.
To conclude, the KWL team is a small team with a big vision and we are proud of our reputation as the most author-friendly platform out there. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and you’ll be signing up with no delay if you’re not already registered on KWL!
Last but not least, make sure you follow us on our social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and subscribe to our blog, podcast, and newsletter so you don’t miss any of our posts or articles.
We’re always asking top Kobo authors and industry experts to share tips and tricks to help you build your brand. We also recommend checking our help centre, which is full of updates on our service.
[Note from Joanna: Kobo is 11% of my book sales income, as reported in my 2018 book sales breakdown. I consider them an important part of my author business.]
Do you take advantage of the partnerships and promotion opportunities at Kobo? Please leave your thoughts below and join the conversation.
As Kobo Writing Life European Manager, Camille Mofidi’s role is to help independent authors make their publishing journey with Kobo a true success.
Whether it’s answering author questions about the Kobo Writing Life portal, or helping authors promote their books in Europe, Camille’s knowledge of digital publishing and international markets is key in her relations with authors.
Camille began her publishing career as an editor within the Hachette Book Group in Paris for 10 years, before becoming the French Publishers’ Association Digital Counsellor.
She has an MA in publishing from ESCP in Paris and her favourite book is Romain Gary’s La Promesse de l’Aube.
[Book shelves image courtesy Susan Yin and Unsplash.]