Kobo Disappoints

Kobo to small publishers: Go away!

If you’re running a small publishing outfit and want to reach the Kobo/Borders community, forget it: if you publish fewer than 10 titles, they’ll turn away your business. Unlike Amazon and Barnes & Noble, who have made it a breeze for small publishers to sell titles in their online stores, Kobo requires that you work with a digital aggregator — good news for middlemen who are an endangered species, but bad news for publishers who don’t want to deal with life-sucking middlemen.

Then why does Kobo even bother having a page that invites writers?

And what’s up with its lead paragraph? Is this just a lie?

Authors & Publishers

Interested in selling your content on Kobo? If you own the digital rights to your content – be it one title, a thousand titles, or more – we can make it happen.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Go read that page. See the other shiny, inviting claims that are now apparently utterly false. Nothing but cheap bait-and-switch.

Subjecting people to Smashwords — where formatting is indeed smashed — is not doing anyone any favors.

I was really admiring Kobo Books for being a 21st-Century company. But this move is strictly out of Dickens.


  1. Mike Cane21 October, 2010

    The trouble with picking up this post is that there has been a Comment discussion going on at the original, with Kobo having replied, me replying back, then Kobo having the final word.

  2. Zigwalski22 October, 2010

    Isn’t there a difference between an author and a small publisher?

    1. Mike Cane22 October, 2010

      Kobo’s copy is addressed to authors too.


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