Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Review of Everything I Know by Paul Jarvis

I don't normally like self-help books. All of that rah-rah go get 'em bullshit just doesn't sit well with me.

With that said, why read this book?

It's not your typical self-help book. It doesn't paint a rosy picture of life, the world, and everything else. Jarvis tells it as he sees it. In his own words, "I swear because I swear. That's who I am, and always have been."

Damn right! Occasional swearing is good. Three points for Paul Jarvis.

For writers there's some additional advice, " blogging and social media don't make you better at your craft, doing your craft makes you better at it." Think about that for a minute. How much time do you spend blogging, tweeting, checking Facebook, and all that other BS? Most of it is just a time suck that eats up valuable time you could be writing.

Another key takeaway, "none of us advice givers know what's possible for you. We can offer insight sure, but that's about it. My best advice? Fuck advice and listen to yourself."

How about you? How many blogs, books, and articles have you consulted about writing, book marketing, or whatever subject grabs your fancy? Some times you've just got to say what the hell, and do what you think is best, or right for you.

And, that's what I like best about this book.

Jarvis advises you over and over again, not to follow the pack. Be yourself. Take a chance, and do what you think you should do. Be original. Don't ask others for advice, and don't copy what other successful people are doing because it worked for them.

Be yourself. Be an original. Don't be afraid to take the road less followed, or forge a new path altogether. Even if you fail, you'll know where to start the next time out.

The book is Everything I Know. It's written by Paul Jarvis, and it's worth the time you invest to read it.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Your Book in a Hardbound Edition? Getting Started Publishing on Lulu

I don't know about you, but I've always had trouble thinking of myself as a writer. I think part of this is because most of my books are available in digital, audio, and paperback formats. I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, you weren't a writer until your book was available in a hardbound edition.

For those of you who don't remember back before eBooks hit the scene, traditional publishers would release hardbound editions first. Then six months or a year later after sales had slowed down enough and they had milked the hardbound edition for all they could, they would release the paperback edition. It was a long wait, but for the monetarily challenged there weren't many other choices. You could join a book club, and grab the free volumes they offered. Or, you could visit the library. But, most times, it was just a long wait, hoping the new Stephen King or David Morrell novels would hit the paperback stands.

I know I was excited when my first paperbacks were printed up, and I could finally grab hold of one of my books. Thank you Create Space. But, even that wasn't enough to convince me I was a real writer. I still kept thinking you haven't made it until you've got a hardbound book.

The final dust jacket design for eBay 2014
Well, I finally took the leap today and did it.

I printed two of my books in the hardbound edition on Lulu. I haven't seen them yet, but they should be in my hands within two weeks, and that's the day I'll know it's official. I'm a writer.

In a way it's funny, we all set certain goals that let us know we made it.

I've sold over twenty thousand Kindle books in the last year and a half, thousands of paperbacks, and close to a thousand more audio books. Yet for me, success is seeing my books in a hardback edition.

How about you?

What goals did you set for yourself that would finally let you know you were a real writer? Was it selling your first Kindle book? Selling a thousand Kindle books? Making a hundred grand in royalties?

We're all different. And we all aspire to different things, and I think that's good.

Anyway, if a hardbound book is in your future, I'll try and get a tutorial up in the next week or two to guide you through the process of creating one on Lulu. Most of it's pretty easy, but designing that dust jacket almost did me in.

Hopefully, I'll be able to save you some time, and a whole lot of frustration.

Final dust jacket for Sell it Online (I designed these with Lulu's cover creator)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Excerpt from Life Without the BS: Rants, Raves & Other Crazy Stuff

Coming to Amazon readers in July
Okay, I've been slaving away at it for over a month, and the new book is almost finished. It's called Life Without the BS: Rants, Raves, & Other Crazy Stuff, and it should be available sometime in July. Here are a couple outtakes from the book, let me know what you think.

Getting Shit Done

There must be a million and one ways to do that, who’d have ever guessed your way would be the best?

Of course, it wasn’t. But, dad always had a way of winning those arguments. I cut grass against the grain. I dried dishes wrong. I ate the wrong food. I watched the wrong TV shows.

Let’s just say I did a hell of a lot of things wrong when I was a kid, and now that I’m in my fifties that string of wrong moves just seems to keep multiplying.

Let’s see if any of this sounds familiar.

My dad’s big on telling me I eat too much.

He’s probably right on that score. What grinds on me is the way he approaches it.

Every time I visit, he sends me off to the Chicken Ranch to fetch dinner. Deep fried chicken, greasy potatoes, BBQ sauce. I can feel my arteries clogging just thinking about it.

The thing is I love fried chicken, especially the skin. Man, just dip that shit in BBQ sauce, and you got a treat no one can match. So picture this if you will. Here I am dunking my chicken in BBQ and shoveling that shit into my mouth as fast as I can, and here’s the old man. He’s carefully picking all the skin and fat off his chicken, piling it in heaps beside his plate. After he’s got his chicken just right, he moves on to his potatoes. Deep fried potato wedges. Again, he carefully chops off all the skin and brown, taking it down to the consistency of a baked potato. And, all the while he’s doing this he’s giving a lecture on how bad that stuff is for you.

He just doesn’t see how I can eat it.

I don’t see how he can keep buying it week after week if he’s so sure it’s going to kill me, unless… There may be some ulterior motives here.

But, wait. The plot thickens even more.

When dinner’s finished, and the lectures on watching your weight, not eating chicken fat, and not having a job are finally finished – out comes the pie, cake, or the ice cream.

Good thinking! A nice sugar filled desert is sure to counteract the chicken fat.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I mean who else is going to spring for a chicken dinner every time I stop by.

You know who else is always right?


Guys, I know you’re with me on this one. It’s okay, you can look around and make sure your wife or best lady isn’t within earshot. I’ll wait.

How did that old book put it? “Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars.” If you’ve ever tried to argue with a woman, you’ll appreciate the subtle changes I made to that line. “Women are from Hell, and men are from, Get me the hell out of here!”

It’s no surprise domestic quarrels are the most dangerous calls for law enforcement officers.

Have you ever seen a woman gone wild, swinging a frying pan?  She’s acting like she’s back in cave man days. The guy, he’s looking at her like she’s a raging mastodon. All he knows is he’s got to get clear of there or take a cast iron skillet across his forehead.

And guys, just to make it clear. If things have gone this far, there’s no chance of getting any make-up sex tonight. Just keep running. Just keep running.


Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself.
Mark Twain

Politics, like sex, is an acquired taste. Some like it rough. A lot of people talk about how big it is, or how it happens more and more in dark alleyways, and shady hotels.

My neighbor likens politics to marriage. After three or four years you’ve seen it all. A dick's a dick, and tits just keep sagging south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

If you’ve ever noticed, prostitutes and politicians have a lot in common. After you’ve spent a little time around either one of them, you can’t help but have yourself checked for diseases.


Have you given any thought to the upcoming elections?

Hillary is lurking around the corner waiting for her turn at the wheel.

The last election it was a race between black and white. This time it’s going to be a contest between fat and ugly.

Pick your poison. Hillary? Or Rush?

You’ve got to respect this guy, fat, stupid…not happy with the millions of fellow bigots that listen to his daily radio show, Rush recently decided his best shot at the big time was to infect young minds before they had a chance to fully develop.

To this end, he developed a series of patriotic history books.

Who hasn’t heard the tale of Rush Revere, and his talking horse, Liberty? Together they travel through history, righting wrongs, and rewriting historical events to better fit the Conservative agenda.

If I were Hillary, I’d take a few tips from Old Rush. She should take a few tokes of whatever he’s been smoking, and start writing about alien abductions, and how she was carted off to the Planet Probula, where she was ravaged by a band of sex starved half blind mole people.

Forget about writing all of those political books. Nobody wants to hear about Iraq, Iran, or the Arabian nights…tell us more about those aliens.

And, can you picture Bill? You know he’s over there in the corner, salivating at the thought of getting back into the White House. He’s thinking hot damn! Gonna grab me some interns, and head for the “Oral Office.”


Some things are better than sex, and some are worse, but there’s nothing exactly like it.
W. C. Fields

Everything I know about sex and dating I learned from perusing the Craigslist ads.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to have a pretty good idea of how to handle myself, but after twenty years of marriage, I figured I better polish up my dating skills before getting out there again.

Apparently, the new ritual is the guy posts a picture of his thingy, along with a catchy slogan like, “I’ve got a really big package for you,” or “Cum take a ride on my rocket.”

If everything measures up the female will respond back with a picture of her “boom box” or “tater tots.”

Last time I was in the dating game, it took a minimum of three dates to get that far.

But, as they say, everything moves faster in the internet age.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: Crypto Copywriting Secrets by Ben Settle

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for a good book on copywriting.

I just finished reading Crypto Copywriting Secrets by Ben Settle. It's a great book filled with dozens of tips I can't wait to try out in my book descriptions.

Here's a sampling of what's covered in this book -

  • headlines
  • leads
  • sales stories
  • bullet points
  • the close
Now, to be honest, I have to tell you, the book is about writing sales letters. But most of it can be easily adapted to writing book descriptions.

I don't want to give too much away, but here are a few tips you can use today...
  • Don't bother writing killer headlines. What you want to do is write something that will get people to read your description.
  • Headlines that ask a question work amazingly well to keep people reading.
  • Bullets are the raw material for use in your description, and then he describes the different types of bullets and how to use them.
  • Finally, you're given two sure ways to close the deal. And, they're surprisingly short and easy to use.
I highly recommend giving it a read.

Here's the new description I penned for my book, Author Bookkeeping Made Easy.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

New Sales Tracking Tool for Babelcube Users

Babelcube recently released a sales tracking tool so authors can see how their books are selling on various sites.

To view your book sales, click on the translations tab at the top of Babelcube's home page. In the books being translated section, you will see a list of your books. At the far right, there are three tabs for each book. To check your sales, select book sales.

After you click on book sales, it will take you to the following screen where it shows you individual sales at each vendor. The default view is the last fifteen days. You can also select the last thirty days, or pick a different date range.

Show, Don't Tell

As writers, we hear these words all the time.

Show, don't tell.

I heard the best example of it ever today in an ad on the radio. You've probably heard it, too. It's the Jimmy John's commercial, where the Jimmy John's delivery guys put out the fire.

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, I'll recap very quickly.

The Jimmy John's delivery guy pulls up at the house to deliver a sandwich. When the homeowner answers the door, he tells him, "Hey, did you know your house is on fire?"

The homeowner responds,"Quick! Grab a bucket."

After this, the Jimmy John's guy keeps calling the store telling his boss to send another sandwich.

As each of the delivery guys show up, they say the same thing, "Hey, did you know your house is on fire?"

"Quick! Grab a bucket," is the reply.

Finally, when the last guy knocks on the door, it's a fireman, and the homeowner tells him to sit down and have a sandwich. The fireman says, "I've got just one question for you. Why didn't you call the fire department first?"

And, the homeowner replies, "I did."


They end the commercial with "Jimmy John's - Freaky Fast Delivery."

It's low key. It paints a perfect picture in your mind, and the best thing is - they don't beat a dead horse at the end by telling you how fast they are compared to the fire department. You're left to figure that out for yourself.

Next time you're trying to decide whether your writing shows, or tells, think of that Jimmy John's commercial. If you show the story unfolding, and, don't restate the obvious afterwords, you've probably got a keeper.

Hope that helps.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Book: Author Bookkeeping Made Easy

Here's a short preview of my latest book, Author Bookkeeping Made Easy. You can grab a  copy on Kindle by visiting this link. (After you've had a chance to read it, please stop back to Amazon and leave an honest review. It will help me with my writing, and it will help other readers decide whether it can help them with their author bookkeeping needs.)

Why you need to read this book

Authors work with words. Accountants work with numbers. So what does bookkeeping have to do with writing, you may ask?

Good question.

The answer could mean thousands of extra dollars in your back pocket.

Too many authors get so excited about the money rolling in they never bother to add it all up to see if they’re making a profit. Not until it’s too late, anyway.

To run a successful writing business, you need to make a profit. The more profit you make, the healthier your business is. Unfortunately, too many authors never stop to look at the big picture. They assume that because the money keeps flowing in, they must be making a profit.

I felt the same way the first year my books were on Kindle. I earned nearly ten thousand dollars in royalties that year, and I naturally assumed I was making money. Every time I turned around, there was another deposit in my bank account. I had to be making money. The thing was when I totaled it all up at the end of the year I really only made a couple thousand bucks.

How could that be?

Simple answer: I spent more money than the royalties I received. The long answer was I kept spending money I should have socked away. I bought a new laptop, another iPhone, a Kindle, and don’t forget Fiverr. I commissioned 179 Fiverr’s over the course of one year – covers, infographics, videos, you name it.

Smart author’s tie their spending to their cash flow. If they project $10,000 in royalties, they determine they can spend a certain amount for research and goodies. If they project $25,000 in royalties, they allow themselves to spend a few bucks more tracking down that last scrap of necessary research, designing one more alternate cover, or acquiring the latest greatest electronic gadget.

Of course, research expenses, covers, and computer equipment are only a few of the ingredients involved in planning cash flow. Authors need to look at all of their expenses when they make cash flow projections.

A simple author’s budget would likely have many of the expenses listed below:

1) Research expenses
2) Books
3) Travel
4) Review copies
5) Art work (for covers, promotions, flyers, etc.)
6) Gas and mileage for your car
7) Advertisements to promote your books
8) Google AdWords / Facebook Ads
9) Equipment (computers, printers, etc.)

While not an all-inclusive list, this will give you an idea of the expenses you need to track. You also need to track your sources of income.

These are some of the income sources you’re likely to encounter:

1) Kindle royalties
2) Create Space royalties
3) Smashwords royalties
4) Barnes & Noble royalties
5) Google Play & Google Books royalties

What this book is going to do is help you take a better look at your income and expenses.

We’re going to examine several different methods of tracking your expenses. GoDaddy Bookkeeping (formerly known as Outlook) is an easy to use program that makes it more convenient for authors to record their earnings and expenses. Some authors prefer simpler methods, such as using an Excel spreadsheet or a paper journal.

Accounting solutions such as GoDaddy Bookkeeping can make things easier by automatically importing transaction information from your checking accounts and credit card accounts. It gives you the ability to set up separate income and expense accounts that make the program more flexible.

In my case, I set up separate income accounts for my Create Space, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & ACX royalty payments so I could track that data alongside my Kindle royalties. I will go into more detail on this later and show you how to do it.

Before I go any further let me tell you a little more about me, so you can understand why I’m the right guy to help you with your author accounting needs.

Why Listen to Me?

Hey there, Nick Vulich here.

Although I’m relatively unknown in the publishing world, it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve published more than thirty books over the last several years. Most of them are available as paperbacks, eBooks, and most recently as audio books.

What that means is I’ve been there, and done that. I know what it’s like to go to work every day, come home, spend time with the family, spend half the night working on your new book, and get up early the next morning to drag your ass through it all over again.

One thing you’ll discover is I’m not shy about telling you what I think.

I’ve run an online business selling on eBay and Amazon for the past fifteen years. Much of what I cover in this book is adapted from what I learned in those businesses. If I tell you about a tax deduction, tax credit, or computer program that can help you along the way, it’s because I use those programs and I know they work.

If I’ve just heard about something, but have never tried it, I’ll tell you that up front.
Let’s get started

Getting Started

What’s that you say? You don’t know the difference between a debit and a credit. Balancing your checkbook is a weeklong task. So how are you ever going to figure out business accounting, let alone get the right info together for Uncle Sam?

Don’t sweat it.

Modern accounting programs have simplified everything, so you don’t need to know the difference between a debit and a credit.

If you can punch your sales and expenses into the right category, these programs will work their magic and show you the final results – whether you made a profit or a loss.

Get Organized

The first thing you’re going to need is a system to organize and store your receipts and records. Some authors use a file cabinet. Some use expandable file folders. I like to use loose-leaf binders. I normally select a five-inch binder, monthly divider inserts, and storage pocket inserts.

Storing everything this way keeps all of my business records readily accessible, and the binder fits neatly on my bookshelf. I can store fifteen years of business records side-by-side in a relatively small space.

Save Your Receipts

Get used to it now. You need to save all of your receipts.

When you buy something online, print out the invoice, punch it with a three hole punch and store it in your three-ring binder under the month of purchase.

Save all of your mortgage or rent receipts, utility bills, phone bills, cable bills, sewer bills, etc. Store them in a zipper pouch in your binder. You’re going to need them to file for the home office deduction. It’s going to save you thousands of dollars on your taxes every year.

If you purchase supplies at Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, etc. save your receipts in a No. 10 envelope. Label the envelopes by month and store them in a zipper pouch in your binder.

Start Writing Down Your Mileage

Go to Walmart, Target, or your office supply superstore and buy a mileage log. They cost about three bucks and can save you close to a thousand dollars over the course of the year.

Starting today – You need to write down the beginning mileage on your vehicle. Every time you get in the car to run to the post office, check out a new fact, or anything related to your writing business – write it down. 

You need to record your beginning and ending mileage. Jot down a quick note about where you went, or why you went there. It doesn’t have to be a novel or anything fancy. Post Office, bank, library – just something to leave a trail of how it was business related.

Save all of your auto-related receipts as well. The government lets you deduct your actual travel related expenses, or the mileage deduction (56¢ this year), whichever is greater. To ensure the largest deduction, you need to save your car payment stubs, insurance payment records, gas receipts, repair bills, oil change receipts, anything related to your car. Grab another No. 10 envelope for each month, and label it auto expenses.

New Sales Tracking Tool for Smashwords Users

One of the most frustrating things about selling on Smashwords was the lag time between making a sale and having it reported in your sales dashboard. It used to take a month or two before you knew if your books were selling.

Yesterday (06/11) they came out with a great new tool that gives you daily sales updates for iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can find it at the top of your dashboard in the sales reporting box. Click on daily sales, and it will take you to the page shown below.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Publishing Your Book to Smashwords - A Quick Tutorial

I have a love-hate affair with Smashwords. Here’s the link to visit their website -

I’m happy for the opportunity to get my books on all of the sites they support, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to configure a manuscript to get it through their “meatgrinder.” The good news is I don’t have to.

After a week of pulling out my hair and fighting urges to smash my laptop against the wall I found a guy on Fiverr who’ll do all the work for me for five bucks. His Fiverr id is Bookaholic, and he does the job in three days or less. If you want to check out his gig here’s the link.

Here’s the least you need to know about Smashwords. They’re a third party aggregator that posts content on their own website, and on other eBook sites. Some of the sites they make your books available on include:
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Baker & Taylor Blio
  •  Baker-Taylor Axis 360
  •  Barnes & Noble
  •  Flipkart
  • Kobo
  •  Library Direct
  •  Oyster
  •  Page Foundry
  •  Scribd 

The big three are Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

Apple is the toughest nut for independent authors to crack on their own because Apple requires you to use their own eBook authoring software that only runs on – you guessed it – an Apple computer.

Publishing your book

Smashwords does all of the heavy lifting for you. When you submit a manuscript to them, it gets run through their “meatgrinder.” This is what converts your manuscript into all the different formats they need to publish your book on other sites. To do this, they have very specific guidelines your manuscript needs to conform to.

For the sake of my own sanity and this book, I’m not going to cover their exact requirements. I suggest using the Fiverr gig by Bookaholic. 

If you want to go it on your own, you should check out the Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker. You can get your free copy here.

Your cover art may also need some minor tweaking to work with Smashwords. They require your cover to be a minimum of 1400 pixels wide, with a height greater than the width. You can resize your cover using paint, or ask your designer to redo it for you.

Once you have your manuscript and cover ready publishing on Smashwords is easy. Click on publish in the author dashboard. Most everything is self-explanatory.

The pricing and sampling section is different than on Amazon. You have the option to make your book permanently free on Smashwords. To do this select make my book free. Authors generally do this when they want to make their book permanently free on Amazon or other eBook sites. You’re also given the option to let my readers determine the price. If you’re feeling lucky, give this one a try. Readers can pay whatever they think your book is worth. Keep in mind, if you use this option, Barnes and Noble won’t publish your book if you submit it through Smashwords. The final option is charge a specific price for my book. Use this section to set the price you want for your book.

The section immediately after this lets you set up sampling. Amazon automatically sets sampling or the look inside feature to ten percent. Smashwords lets you select the sample size for your book. Twenty percent is the default setting. They suggest fifteen percent for full-size books and thirty percent for short stories. Choose the preview amount you’re comfortable giving away.

Section 5 lets you select the eBook formats to make your book available in. By default, all of the formats are selected. My suggestion is to leave it like that.

After you’ve completed all of the steps, select yes, I agree in Section 8 and Smashwords will begin to process your book.

Once you select yes, I agree your book goes into a queue waiting to be processed. When processing is completed, you receive an email saying congratulations your book passed the vetting process, or you will receive a message that your book had issues going through the autovetter. If you had autovetter issues, you can correct them, and resubmit your manuscript.

As soon as you receive the congratulations message, your book goes on sale on the Smashwords site. It also goes into review for premium distribution, which means it is good to be sold on other sites like Apple, Kobo, and Scribd. Most often it takes about a week to review your book and get it set up for premium distribution.

You can check the progress in your dashboard. The second to the last column at the far right of each book summary shows the premium status. When your book has been accepted it will show premium approved, and the date of approval. If there is an issue getting approved, you will be able to see the error code in the next column – retailer tickets. As soon as you correct the error, you can resubmit your book.

Selecting distribution channels

After you submit your book you have one last task to complete, you need to select your distribution channels. To do this select channel manager in the box labeled Marketing & Distribution Tools.

When you click into the channel manager, the first thing you see is an explanation of the royalties paid to sell your book on the different sites. To select your sales channels scroll further down the page until you see your first book cover. Smashwords shows you the different channels available and gives you the option to Distribute or Opt Out of each channel.

I list my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo for myself so I choose to opt out of those three programs. This way I receive payment directly from both sites and don’t have to pay a commission on those sales to Smashwords. Others authors prefer the convenience of doing it all through Smashwords and just having one distributor. You can always change your distribution options later if you decide to publish to those channels on your own. I did this with Kobo when I discovered how easy it was to use their Writing Life interface.

After you’ve selected your channels to sell on it normally takes anywhere from one to four weeks for your books to start selling on those sites.

As expected, Apple is the most difficult vendor to work with.

When you format your manuscript make sure to remove all of the links to other eBook sites. I know I missed this step on several of my manuscripts. I usually include a clickable bibliography with links to where readers can find those books on Amazon or Google Books. That’s a big no-no with Apple unless you change to links to books in the iStore.

Another area I’ve been caught with my pants down on was where I included a link to my book on Amazon to ask for a review. Apple will reject your book if you link to Amazon, or even if you just mention that readers should stop back to Amazon to ask for a review.

To make it easy on yourself thoroughly check your book for links to other eBook sites and remove all of them.


Payments are made quarterly on Smashwords. Authors can choose to receive payment by PayPal or check. The payment threshold for PayPal is $10.00, for checks the payment threshold is $75.00.

Payment dates are:
  • January 31st (for sales in October, November, and December)
  • April 30th (for sales in January, February, and March)
  • July 31st (for sales in April, May, and June)
  • October 31st (for sales in July, August, and September)

To check out Smashwords FAQs click this link -

Publishing Your Book to Kobo - A Quick Tutorial

Kobo is the easiest to use self-publishing site I’ve ever come across. You can access the site by following this link.

To read the Kobo user manual, click on this link.


As soon as you sign into Kobo, you will be taken to your seller dashboard. The dashboard is the money center of Kobo. It shows you how many eBooks you’ve sold, and your estimated earnings.

At the top of this page, just below where it says Kobo you’ll see three tabs – dashboard, eBooks, and learning center. As we already talked about, dashboard highlights your sales and earnings. eBooks is where you set up new books for publication, and the learning center is where you turn for more help in listing your books and increasing sales on Kobo.


To list your first book with Kobo, click on eBooks at the top of the page.

Select the green tab that says create new book. Listing your book is broken down into five steps.
  1.  Describe your eBook
  2.  Add eBook content
  3.  Choose content rights
  4. Set the price
  5. Publish your eBook

The form is intuitive and easy to use.

Fill in your title, subtitle, and series name if your book is part of a series. Under author, list your name, or the pen name you write under. The great thing is Kobo sets up a separate section with the books published under each author name, so you can keep your books separated by each pen name you write under.

If you have your own publisher name or imprint, you can list it. Towards the middle of the page there’s a section where you can list your ISBN number if you have one, otherwise, leave it blank, and Kobo will assign an identifier for your book.

Across from the ISBN information, there’s a spot where you can add categories for your book. Kobo lets you select three categories. Try to use all three of them.

At the very bottom of the page, you enter your synopsis or book description. Kobo doesn’t allow you to use HTML, but they do have a formatting tool similar to MS Word where you can bold or italicize content. There’s also a tool to add bullet points or line numbering to your description.

Moving back up towards the top of the page, click on the cover box to upload your cover image.

Click next to move to the section labeled Add eBook content. This is where you upload your book file. Kobo accepts your manuscript in the following formats – .epub, .doc, .docx, mobi, and .odt. After you upload your book file, you can check it out by selecting download and preview this eBook. If everything looks good, click on next to move to the next section.

Choose content rights lets you select your book rights. Digital Rights Management (DRM) protects your book from copying and pirating. Geographic rights help Kobo determine where you have legal rights to sell your book.

Click on Save and next to move to the next section. This is where you set your prices. To receive the 70 percent royalty you need to price your book between $1.99 and $12.99 in U S Dollars. If you price your book under $1.99, or over $12.99 you will receive a 45 percent royalty. As you set your prices, Kobo shows the royalty percentage and dollar amount in the two far right columns. You can set all of your geographic prices based on the U S price, or you can set a separate price for each geographic area.

This section also lets you set special promotional prices. Click on Select promo price, and it brings up a new section to set up your promo prices. First off, you need to select the special promo price, and then choose the start and end dates for your promo. You can set up your special in all territories, or choose just one geographic area for your promo.

After you’ve finished setting up your pricing, click Save and next. This takes you to the final section where you publish your book. You can select the date you want your book to go live, or just click the green Publish button and your book will go on sale as soon as Kobo finishes reviewing your book (normally 12 to 24 hours).


If you need to edit your book or change prices, go to the section labeled eBooks, and select the book you want to change. Make your changes, and when you’re finished click publish. Most changes filter through the system in under an hour, but it can take twelve hours or more.


I’m new to Kobo, so I really can’t give you any advice on what sales are like. I’ve heard people say their sales were good, especially in Canada. I will keep updating this as time goes by, and sales start rolling in.

To receive a 70 percent royalty you need to price your book between $1.99 and $12.99 in U S Dollars. If you price below $1.99, or over $12.99 you receive a 45 percent royalty. That’s ten percent higher than you get from Amazon for pricing books outside of their sweet spot. If you have a paperback version of your book, Kobo requires you to price the Kobo version at least 20 percent lower than the physical copy to receive their maximum royalty payment.

One other thing to keep in mind is Kobo deducts taxes from your royalties when books are sold in European countries. They take 20 percent for the VAT tax in Great Britain and 3 percent for the VAT tax in countries within the European Union. As a result, it is suggested you mark your prices up by this amount when selling in these countries. The Kobo Writing Life User Guide has more complete information on this.

Royalty payments are paid out monthly if your royalties are over $100 for the month. If you don’t reach the $100 level in a six-month period, they will pay out what you have earned up to that point. Funds are deposited directly into the bank account you placed on file when signing up.