Kobo Writing Life was launched in 2012 as the self-publishing branch of Kobo. When authors submit e-books, they are stacked together with titles from renowned publishers. The director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations, Mark Lefebvre, gave a status update to Good e-Reader and revealed some of the exciting deals they have.
A majority of new authors are not knowledgeable about the Kobo ecosystem and they have no idea how Writing Life can benefit them. Mr. Lefebvre gave a highlight of the benefits of the platform to indie authors. “In a nutshell, KWL offers you a place to publish your eBook for free to Kobo’s catalog. You keep 70% for any title priced $2.99 or higher. There’s no CAP on that 70% which means authors who publish high value box sets of multiple copies of their books, can offer their readers a good deal without having to give up on margin. (Kindle drops the royalties to 35% if you price above $9.99).”
“Also, via Kobo Writing Life, you’re not dealing with a faceless corporation. Yes, we have automated tasks and efficiencies so that authors can easily DIY their way all through the publishing process. But if authors need to contact a real human, they can. We’ve re-launched a new ticketing system that has allowed us to be more efficient than ever before and offer more personalized responses to authors’ concerns. We also have a new community and forum where authors can easily find answers to popular questions.”
The KWL team does not only aim at helping authors with their publishing but also to inform and educate writers on the business and skill of publishing. They offer free publishing tools and also ensure that authors perceive the economics of business, great practices for authors etc. to accomplish their goals. They have partnered with reputable companies to give the best author services for editorial support, cover design, purchasing ISBNs at discounted prices, audio book production among others.
Kobo Writing Life is a great achievement for the company and 550,000 titles have been published over the past six years. 1,000 to 1,500 titles are published every week. Writing Life keeps on getting better and in the last couple of years they have included a pre-order system, a feature for tracking free downloads and author pages. Kobo tries to avoid adding paid services because “of the history of some other companies out there who seem to exist merely to exploit authors and sell things they don’t need.” KWL is working to being the ultimate trusted service for authors.
KWL is still trying to optimize and iterate their dashboard according to the KWL user feedback they are getting. The company also launched a survey to their most active users to find out what they do not like, what they like, what they would want to see more, and what new things they would find more valuable. The results of the survey enable them to prioritize their 18+ month backlog of upgrades/tasks and updates that they plan to implement. Mr. Lefebvre added they are BETA testing a new print-on-demand feature for US and Canadian authors.