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

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’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, 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.

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Joe Follansbee July 8, 2018 um 10:47 am

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?

Ros Jackson July 8, 2018 um 11:50 am

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.

Sophie April 8, 2021 um 3:19 am

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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