Kobo Inks Distribution Deal With Writing Community Widbook

Writing communities like Wattpad, Write On, and Widbook represent concentrated sources of writing talent, and Kobo is looking to tap in. Earlier this month Widbook and Kobo announced a new partnership which will enable Widbook members to sell ebooks through Kobo.

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According to Widbook's blog post, premium members can sell their ebooks through Kobo with only a few clicks. The member simply has to set the price, title, description, and category, enter an ISBN (it's not provided), and the ebook can be automatically uploaded to Kobo and sold through Kobobooks.com and Kobo's retail partners in around the globe.

Although I don't think this by itself is worth Widbook's $5 a month premium membership fee, it could prove a convenient option for Widbook members.

Let's just hope it's not too convenient.

I've been browsing Widbook today, and I noticed that a lot of the ebooks had basic formatting and editing errors. I mention that not as a criticism of the writers but as a critique of Widbook. The formatting errors in particular are a sign that Widbook isn't designed to produce good quality content as a default (other platforms, like Feedbooks, have pulled it off).

This tells me that authors would be wise to either engage an editor or give their work another pass before publishing it for the second time.

Founded in February 2013 and based in Brazil, Widbook boasts over 200,000 members, with the highest numbers coming from the US, Brazil, and India. The site offers a community where writers and readers can write, read, and critique stories as they are published, and according to PW it offers a special emphasis on collaboration - writers can publish one chapter at a time, or they can write an ebook in partnership with another user.

And now that those writers have finished the story, they can publish it via Kobo - which they could have done on their own, thus making me wonder whether this deal has any value at all.

It's a shame this deal isn't with Apple. Kobo has their own publishing portal, which any author or publisher can access, but iBooks is difficult to get into. You either need an Apple computer to upload an ebook or you'll need to have to go through  distributor like Draft2Digital. Had Widbook struck a deal with Apple it could have become a de facto portal for iBooks (perhaps that is Widbook's next step).

Widbook via eBookPress

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

4 Comments

  1. Writers are always wise to hire at LEAST a copy editor and usually both copy edit and storyline.

    I don’t quite understand why this is a big deal–any of those authors could have uploaded to Kobo using the usual platform. Unless Kobo is going to pretend at some point to be the publisher/offer a contract (as Amazon is currently doing with their version of this).

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder14 March, 2015

      It’s not a big deal at all – more of a curiosity.

      Reply
  2. […] Kobo Partners with Writing Platform Widbook (Ink, Bits & Pixels) The ebook retailer signs a deal with the Brazil-based storytelling platform Widbook, allowing the platform’s paid users (premium memberships cost $5 a month) to distribute their titles through Kobo. […]

    Reply
  3. Publishing Tales: Stories about Literature from across the Web (March 13 – 19)20 March, 2015

    […] Kobo Inks Distribution Deal With Writing Community Widbook: Widbook and Kobo are partnering, which will let Widbook members sell their ebooks on Kobobooks.com. Authors should still be conscious about editing, and the fact is that they can publish their work elsewhere by themselves. […]

    Reply

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