Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing has been a smash hit with new and established authors alike. Now, Canadian-born Kobo is entering the fray with its own self-publishing ebook platform.
Calling Kobo Writing Life, the currently secretive program is being tested by 50 handpicked authors in a closed, private beta. But the company says the platform will enter public beta at the end of June to the thousands of authors who have so far signed up.
Kobo sayss it won't charge authors to use the portal and publish ebooks, like Amazon, and also claims it will pay "10% higher royalties on sales" and offer "much more freedom on pricing," although it hasn't yet elaborated on those points. Amazon already offers a competitive 70% royalty rate for most ebooks and highly flexible pricing options, so it will be interesting to observe how Kobo attempts to differentiate.
Do you have a story to tell? Are you an author with a bestseller just waiting to be discovered? Want to reach out to millions of readers in over 170 countries? Then have we got the tool for you. Kobo Writing Life is the one-stop, do-it-yourself publishing portal. Bring us your Word documents, your Mobi files, your Text files! We'll run your manuscript through our advanced open-source conversion process, transforming it into an ePub in a snap so it's ready for instant publication to hoards of Kobo readers.
“We can't wait to see what authors will do with this,” says Michael Tamblyn, the executive vice-president of content and merchandising for Kobo.