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First Impressions of Kobo Writing Life

17 Jul 2012

Kobo Writing Life is now out of beta mode and available to all self-published authors. My Kobo sales from the last six months are negligible (my books were distributed to Kobo via Smashwords), but I still opened a KWL acocunt because I want to distribute my books to as many digital retailers as possible. You never know where your sales may come from in future. In the first few months, 90% of my sales came from Amazon. In the last quarter, my Amazon sales tanked but were offset by sales at B&N and Apple. Anything can happen at any time, and I want readers to have convenient access to my books at their retailer of choice…even if it’s Google Play.

Anyway, first impressions of KWL:

  • Interface is dead-simple to use (Google, please pay attention)
  • Processing time is amazingly quick (my books were up within a few hours), which makes bypassing an aggregator like Smashwords worth it
  • The 2 MB limitation for covers surprises me since tablets are increasingly popular and higher resolution covers look so much better on them
  • I have some security concerns that I shared with Kobo, so hopefully they will be addressed in the next update

Edited to add:

First impressions of the Kobo Desktop Edition for Mac (i.e. Kobo desktop reader application for Mac):

  • Not good
  • It overrides the formatting in the EPUB file and removes the indents, spacing, and centering
  • Hyperlinks are removed
  • TOC is a lesson in frustration on par with the Google Play interface
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