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Kobo & Walmart: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, September 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Kobo's Christine Munroe Explains What You Need to Know about the Kobo/Walmart Partnership on Carla King's Author Friendly Podcast
Carla King's Author Friendly Podcast can be subscribed to here.

In Episode 11 of her Author Friendly Podcast, Carla King talks with Christine "Chrissy" Munroe, Director of Kobo Writing Life, a digital self-publishing platform from Rakuten Kobo who partnered with Walmart to provide Walmart eBooks and a co-branded app. Before joining Rakuten Kobo, Munroe was a foreign book scout and literary agent in New York.

Why Go Direct?

So why should an author go direct with Kobo (and the other retailers) rather than use an aggregator to distribute ebooks? The answers are personal, says Munroe, and you'll find out that with Kobo you don't just get direct to Kobo; you get personal feedback from their in-house marketing staff, you get your ebook in independent bookstores via the American Booksellers Association, an opportunity to distribute to libraries with Overdrive (also owned by Rakuten) with a more favorable royalty split then going through an aggregator, and many more perks we'll explore in the podcast.

After hearing this conversation you may end up deciding to upload your book directly to the big five (Amazon, Kobo, Apple, B&N, and Google Play) rather than reaching these sales channels with an aggregator.

Be Free and Experiment

If you own your book ISBNs you can easily make the switch and experiment. There are definitely pros and cons, which you already realize if you've listened to the podcast episodes with the aggregators (Smashwords, StreetLib, Draft2Digital, PublishDrive, Scribl).

Libraries and Subscription Programs

We also discuss marketing opportunities with libraries, how merchandizing between Kobo, libraries, and aggregators work, the Walmart eBookstore experience for customers, and the Kobo Plus subscription program for the Netherlands and Belgium with and how English-language authors can reach this market (and why you'd want to).


Also find out about their partnerships with Reedsy, Damonza, NetGalley, and other services that help authors with editing, design, formatting, and marketing.

And don't forget! You can also subscribe to IBPA's own podcast, Inside Independent Publishing (with IBPA), here.

Listen to IBPA podcast host Peter Goodman discuss highlights from Inside Independent Publishing (with IBPA) with Copyright Clearance Center's Christopher Kenneally.

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