Monday, February 11, 2013

Expanding My Retail Platform With Kobo

There is no question Amazon is the name of the game. I have long been an advocate of Aaron Shepard's Aiming at Amazon approach to selling books and don't see any reason to change my approach to where I steer potential customers to buy my books.

But I don't see any reason why I should not make my ebooks available through as many ebook retailers as possible. I use eBook Architects to convert my CreateSpace files to ebooks and the process results in a Kindle file for use with Amazon's KDP program and an ePub file for retailers who use the ePub format. This includes Barnes and Noble and Kobo or Kobobooks.

It took me 25 minutes to upload three of my books and their covers on the Kobo platform. The first book took the longest because as usual I am a bit slow when it comes to doing things for the first time on a computer. The next two titles were a snap. I plan to upload the rest of my titles that I have ePub files for.

The longest part of the entire process was getting my financial information entered correctly so I can be paid should I sell some books using Kobo's site.

Like Barnes and Noble and Amazon I set the price of the book. I also get 70% of the sale! The threshold to be paid is higher and that's OK. My goal right at the moment is simply to make my titles available in more ebook retail stores and to allow Kobo's site to do the work of promoting my titles.

Like just about everything else with self-publishing, I am sure I have a bit to learn about selling books on the Kobo site. On thing I do like right off the bat is Kobo has what it refers to as a "Learning Center."

Kobo's publishing set-up is pretty easy to learn to use if you have already uploaded ebooks to Amazon KDP or Barnes and Noble's Pubit. The Dashboard is actually the easiest of the three to use based on my experience.

The image above shows two of my titles as already being published and ready for sale while the third title I uploaded is still being "published." To start the process of uploading your ebook, you need to go to the Kobobooks homepage and click on "The Writing Life." Create an account, the most time consuming part of the process for me, and once you have navigated to your Dashboard, click on eBooks and then click on the green button you can see in the image above.

This will take you to a page with a four step process. When you complete each of the four steps you click on the save button on the lower right hand corner. You may have to scroll down quite a bit to find the button on the describe your book page which will be the most detailed of the four pages you will have to complete.

Unless you are going through your "exclusive" period with KDP Select with your book, there is no reason not to publish your ebook with Kobo if you have an ePub file for your book. It costs only your time to do so. 

I don't expect to have a huge number of sales, but every sale counts! If I don't make my titles available to the customers who purchase their ebooks from Kobo, how can I sell them any of my books!

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