Kobo is quickly becoming a retailer to be reckon with, with over 12 million registered users on its site, I believe it’s time indie authors start paying more attention to them. Since the acquisition of Sony’s ebook library (U.S. & Canadian only) Kobo is likely to continue growing. And although they don’t have a large share of the American market, (that honor belongs to Amazon) they do command 20% of the global ebook market.
So how do you make your run with Kobo successful? Easy, you take advantage of Kobo Writing Life, which includes a blog as well as a podcast that gives authors good tips on how to promote their books on the site. Also, you get your ebook featured on Kobo’s website. And unlike Goodreads, Kobo, will feature a book for free if you meet their requirements.
Just like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Kobo, has several newsletters that regularly go out to readers alerting them of sales and new releases. To add icing to the cake, Kobo prominently features books on the front of their website and guess what, it’s indie friendly! Though, I couldn’t find the numbers on how popular their newsletter is, the Indie Next List section on their website has an Alexa rating of 5,000 globally which isn’t bad.
The Kobo BookHub Rules
Even though it’s free to submit, you still have to make sure the links you provide are from your book’s Kobo page and not Smashwords or *gasp* Amazon.
Here are the rules from Kobo’s own blog: What You Need to Know – Not all books will be featured; the selection will be made based on perceived quality and available slots. There will be more free books featured than bargains, and more bargains than full-price books. *Bargains are all books priced below $2 (regardless of whether it’s a promotion or not), Full Price are all books priced above that.*
So what does this all mean? It means your book needs to be free or cheap to get a push from Kobo. Also, your book needs to have several reviews as well as a sweet cover and blurb. So if you think you got what it takes, submit here.
How to Capitalize on the Free Publicity
Kobo isn’t as sophisticated as Amazon with its chat boards and multi-layered website but it is slowly catching up. If I were an indie with a new book, I would do this about the time I did a big push, mainly, to keep my book on everyone’s mind. I’d lower my price or go free, and tell the world about it on all the websites that feature book sales and freebies.
So there you go, another blog post, another promotional hack. Stay tuned because next week, when I’ll be discussing the pros and cons of Noisetrade.