SFFMP 167: Encouraging News from the Author Earnings Report and What’s Working at Kobo

The new Kobo Writing Life director, Christine Monroe, joined us to talk about the strength of indie publishing, new features relevant to authors at Kobo (including the upcoming ability to upload audiobooks via the KWL dashboard), and some positive news from the recently released Author Earnings Report.

Here are some of the specifics we covered:

  • How Christine came to be the new head honcho at Kobo Writing Life.
  • How time of year doesn’t matter that much when it comes to ebook sales (per the Author Earnings Report), so the “summer slump” is largely a myth. Christine said the week after Christmas and the month of July are big selling times for Kobo.
  • That, despite rumors to the contrary, indie publishing is doing better than it ever has. The AER posted the Top 50 earning authors for US sales and noted that many are newer names, so possibly authors that had early success and didn’t adapt have seen fall off, but others are carrying the torch.
  • 75% of science fiction and fantasy book sales come via ebooks and audiobooks.
  • Kobo getting into the growing category of audiobooks and opportunities for indie authors who have the rights to distribute their audiobooks.
  • When does it make sense to invest in creating audio versions of your books?
  • Some best practices of successful authors on Kobo.
  • Taking advantage of the fact that there’s no cap on the 70% royalty and putting together giant full-series boxed sets.
  • Going direct with Kobo versus going through a distributor.
  • The kinds of advertising that are proving effective for selling books on Kobo.
  • Tips for authors who write stand-alone novels or only have one or two books out.
  • Pricing suggestions for novels on Kobo.
  • Languages that do well with them when it comes to foreign language translations.
  • Whether rapid releases and/or consistently putting out titles are effective strategies for building an audience on Kobo.

If you’re not already uploading direct to Kobo, you can do so through the Kobo Writing Life dashboard. Make sure to subscribe to the KWL blog and podcast to get tips from successful authors. They recently had one of the Bookbub representatives on their podcast, so you’ll definitely want to check out that episode.


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