Kobo: Keep Your Book Description Shorter Than 4,000 Characters Or It Will Be Excluded From Walmart.com

I am currently following a discussion over on KBoards about Kobo and Walmart, and one author just dropped a useful nugget of information that authors might find useful.

Kobo is telling authors who distribute through Kobo Writing Life that they need to limit their book descriptions because:

As you have may have heard, Kobo is going to be launching with Walmart in the US very soon. We wanted to let you know that due to a limitation on Walmart.com’s side, they are not able to accept book descriptions longer than 4000 characters. This limit includes spaces, punctuation, and all embedded HTML. A description that is longer than 4000 characters will not completely block the book from being sent to Walmart.com, but it will result in the description showing as blank on Walmart product pages.

It occurred to me this morning that I didn’t know whether Kobo had told any else about this restriction, so it might be worth passing along.

If you are an author who uses book distributors like Draft2Digital to put your books in Kobo, now would be a good time to check your book descriptions and make sure that they are compatible with Walmart’s rules.

Speaking of which, I’ll go ask Kobo for any other helpful suggestions.

Stay tuned.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. 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.


  1. Joe Follansbee8 July, 2018

    Nice tip. Four thousand characters works out to about 600 words, give or take, not counting any HTML. And who would read an essay-length description?

  2. Ros Jackson8 July, 2018

    Thanks for the warning. My longest isn’t over 1200 characters, but I seem to remember longer descriptions being touted as useful for SEO purposes, so I expect some will be caught out by this.

  3. Sophie8 April, 2021

    My book description on Kobo has no paragraphs. It just appears as a massive bank of text. I’m humiliated and don’t know how to rectify this.

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