So after a month of waiting, Kobo’s publishing platform, Writing Life, is finally up! I just finished uploading all of my titles (except my short stories–I’ll just continue to distribute through Smashwords for now). Genesis Earth is already available, and the others should be up soon.
For those of you who are readers, this means that you’ll be able to find my books on Kobo almost as soon as they go up on Amazon. The formatting will (hopefully) be cleaner, since I’ll have direct control. Prices will generally be the same as on other platforms, but when I change the price on Amazon, I’ll change it simultaneously on Kobo, too–no waiting for weeks on end for the price to drop.
For those of you who are writers, I’ll be sure to keep you updated with thoughts on my experience. So far, it looks pretty good: the royalty rates are better than Amazon (70% for titles priced $1.99 – $12.99, 45% for all other titles), the publishing process is faster, and the upload formats (.epub, .doc, .docx, .mobi, and .odt) are generally more flexible. Downsides include a higher minimum threshold for direct deposit ($100 or every 6 months), fewer category choices, and what appears to be a forced 2:3 aspect ratio for cover art.
Besides that–oh, look, Bringing Stella Home and Journey to Jordan just went up too! Man, that’s fast! And it looks like the aspect ratios went back to 3:4, so I won’t have to redo the covers. That’s a relief! So yeah, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Also, in preparing my books for upload to Kobo, I discovered some pretty egregious formatting errors for the Barnes & Noble copies of Bringing Stella Home and Sholpan. I’m not sure what happened–probably it had something to do with an older version of Calibre or Open Office, since I was overseas at the time and only had access to my netbook. So yeah, if you downloaded one of the broken copies, just shoot me an email and I’ll send you the updated epub version, no questions asked.
In general, I need to revamp my publishing process. Currently, it resembles jumping through a ring of fire while juggling half a dozen angry poodles. Open Office, Mobipocket, Notepad, Calibre, KindleGen, DOS prompts, and Kindle for PC–yeah, I’d better get on that. If you have any suggestions for free/open source software that does .mobi and .epub, please let me know.
In other news, I finished my first pass through Stars of Blood and Glory, and should be finished with draft 2.0 by the end of the week. After that, it’s back to Star Home and Star Wanderers.