Friday, June 6, 2014

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.

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