SFFMP 125: Kobo’s New Subscription Service and the State of the Industry with Mark Lefebvre

Today, Mark Lefebvre, horror writer and the Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo, joined us for his second time on the show. Previously, we chatted about international sales trends and tips for selling more books at Kobo.

Today, we asked Mark about some of the new developments at Kobo, such as a subscription service for readers (one which indie authors can enroll in) called Kobo Plus. You’re not automatically enrolled. If you’re interested, you need to select to participate in the “rights” section for each book, and Kobo asks that you be willing to leave your book in for a six month period (they’re asking the same thing from traditional publishers), to help them plan for promotions.

We also asked Mark about some of the state-of-industry stuff. For instance, is the ebook market now “saturated,” or is it still growing in the U.S. and in other countries? What percentage of ebooks being sold come from traditional publishing, small press, and indie authors? What can newer authors do to gain traction now that there’s more competition in the marketplace? Is a permafree Book 1 still a good marketing strategy for Kobo? And how might one get more books to sell in the growing international markets?

Among other things, Mark mentioned using the universal link creation service at Books2Read to turn one link into links for all your books so that your international readers and readers in other stores can easily find the one that works for them.

If you want to upload direct to Kobo, or read the Writing Life blog or subscribe to the podcast, you can do so from the main site: Kobo Writing Life.

You can also learn more about Mark and his work on his site.

 

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SFFMP 78: International Sales Trends/Tips and Selling More Ebooks at Kobo with Mark Lefebvre

Today we chatted with Mark Leslie Lefebvre, a horror author who also happens to be the Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations at Kobo.com. We talked about how to increase visibility and sell more books at Kobo, and also about trends for science fiction and fantasy, both in the main Canadian store and in the numerous international stores that Kobo works with.

Here’s some of what we covered:

  • Keeping things in perspective: Kobo is a much smaller store than Amazon (but they often go toe-to-toe when it comes to non-U.S. markets)
  • Reasons to go direct to Kobo through Kobo Writing Life (versus using Smashwords/Draft 2 Digital distribution)
  • The new “promotions” tab that’s available to authors (currently in beta) via the dashboard in Kobo Writing Life
  • Tips for getting on the radar of those who handle merchandising for Kobo
  • Best pricing tactics for science fiction and fantasy
  • Which countries are growing and friendly to speculative fiction?
  • Pricing considerations for international markets
  • How science fiction and fantasy are trending upward and more authors are appearing in the Top 10 of overall best selling indie authors at Kobo (it’s not all just romance anymore!)
  • A tip for visibility: make sure to fill out your series meta data, keywords, and put something in the imprint field (even if it’s your author name), in addition to having a good cover and blurb.
  • Increasing a book’s “temperature” at Kobo through sales (even looks and clicks can help)
  • Mark suggests SF/F authors hit up their local ComicCon and pay for a booth there (hint: he sells tons of books when he goes)

If you want to check out Mark’s fiction, his short story, “Snowman Shivers,” is free on all platforms: Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple.

You can find Mark on Twitter @markleslie and you can also follow @KoboWritingLife

 

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