Since I started indie publishing, I have been distributing my books through Kobo. I was using Smashword’s distribution service to do this, which felt vaguely silly: Here I was sitting in Canada, right next door to Kobo, but I had to send my books via a US distributor to get them onto the digital shelves of a Canadian ebook retailer.
Barnes & Noble have no compunction about building in bias against anyone not from the USA — you can’t publish directly with them unless you have a US Tax number and cheque account. While one is possible to arrange, both of them are next to impossible if you don’t live in the US, and therefore you’re forced to distribute to B&N via Smashwords…and that is a process that is so filled with troubles and woes it’s barely worth the effort, considering the number of pitiful sales you get in return.
Smashwords to Kobo was similarly angst-filled, although not quite as troublesome. However, finally, a few months ago Kobo announced an indie-author direct program that meant I could cut Smashwords out of the distribution loop.
It was a long process converting all my currently available indie titles from Smashword’s format over to Kobo’s format. I had to figure out the little niggles and formatting quirks unique to Kobo and how they run their particular dashboard — and how their support systems and services work (not at all on the weekends, for instance). Once that all got straightened out, the rest of the re-formatting was basically assembly-line conversion.
It was also a great chance to update the front and back matter of my books, changing links and references to sites, and other titles, etc.
Unfortunately, I can’t put all my books up onto Kobo just yet. I have pulled all my titles from the Amazon Select program, but the agreements don’t expire until late March and early April, so I have to wait until then to re-list those books on other retail sites. I’ll announce each of those titles as they become available again.
So for now, fourteen of my indie titles are available in sparkly clean new formats, with long descriptions, and full linkages, at Kobo, including series information and series links, too — something that wasn’t possible via Smashwords.
Here’s the full list, with links to their Kobo pages.