Kobo Writing Life Review – Your Best Self-Publishing Option?

Christopher Ortiz
April 28, 2023 | 5 mins

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Self-publishing has become a popular alternative to traditional publishing, and for good reason. One of the main benefits of self-publishing is that authors have complete control over their book. From the content to the cover design, authors can make all the decisions without having to compromise with publishers or editors. This means that authors can publish their work exactly as they envision it, without having to make changes to fit someone else's vision.

Another benefit of self-publishing is that authors can earn higher royalties. Traditional publishers typically pay authors a small percentage of the book's sales, but self-publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Kobo Writing Life offer authors a much higher percentage. This means that authors can earn more money for their hard work.

Self-publishing also allows for a faster publication timeline. Traditional publishers can take months, even years, to publish a book, but self-publishing platforms can publish a book in a matter of days. This means that authors can get their work in front of readers much faster, which can lead to more sales and greater exposure.

Finally, self-publishing gives authors more freedom and flexibility. They can choose when and how to publish their book, set their own prices, and even choose which distribution channels to use. 

However, there are now such a large number of companies offering these types of services that it can difficult for writers to navigate such a crowded space and decide upon which company is best for them to work with. In this review we will take a close look at one such company we mentioned earlier, Kobo Writing Life, to understand exactly what it offers, as well as if they are worth consideration for writers seeking such services.

What is Kobo Writing Life?

Kobo Writing Life is a self-publishing platform specifically designed for authors who wish to publish their books and reach a wider audience. It is an easy-to-use platform that offers a streamlined process for authors to upload their manuscript, design their book cover, and distribute their book worldwide. Kobo Writing Life is a subsidiary of Rakuten Kobo, a Canadian company that specializes in e-books and e-readers. The platform offers several advantages over traditional publishing, including higher royalty rates, faster publication, and greater control over the publishing process.

One of the key features of Kobo Writing Life is its simplicity. The platform is designed to be user-friendly, with an intuitive interface that makes it easy for authors to upload their books and set their prices. The speed with which this can be accomplished too is impressive, as their website states that between account sign up and publication to the Kobo catalogue can be done in as little as 72 hours. 

Kobo Writing Life also offers a variety of tools and resources to help authors market their books and connect with readers, such as a free author dashboard and promotional tools like discount codes. Alongside this, their website also has sections directing users to their blog, their podcast, a sign up page for their newsletter and the latest industry news.

Who Would Benefit From Self Publishing With Kobo Writing Life?

Self-publishing has opened up opportunities for writers of all kinds, making it a great option for many individuals.

One group that can benefit from self-publishing are aspiring authors who have been rejected by traditional publishers. With self-publishing, authors can bypass the traditional publishing process and get their work into the hands of readers. This can be especially helpful for writers whose work may not fit into a particular genre or whose writing style may not align with traditional publishing expectations.

Self-publishing is also a viable option for established authors who want more control over their work. These authors may have previously worked with traditional publishers, but have decided to take control of their work and publish on their own terms. By self-publishing, established authors can earn higher royalties, have more control over their publishing timeline, and even experiment with different genres or writing styles.

Additionally, self-publishing makes a lot of sense for niche authors who write for specific audiences. For example, a cookbook author or a writer of technical manuals may not have broad appeal to traditional publishers but may have a dedicated and loyal following. By self-publishing, these authors can reach their niche audience directly and market their work to those who are most interested in it.

Finally, self-publishing is always a good pathway for authors who want to explore different genres or writing styles without the pressure of traditional publishing expectations. Self-publishing allows authors to experiment with their work, try new things and get feedback from readers without the risk of rejection from traditional publishers.

All of these benefits are particularly applicable to a platform like Kobo Writing Life, which is so well established that users know they are going to receive both a premium service and have access to a sufficient number of readers to maximise the chances of their success. 

What are the Alternatives to Kobo Writing Life?

While Kobo Writing Life and self-publishing are great options for many authors, there are alternatives available that may better suit some writers' needs. One alternative is traditional publishing, which involves submitting a manuscript to a publishing house for consideration. While this process can be more time-consuming and competitive than self-publishing, traditional publishers offer resources like editing, cover design, and marketing support that can be invaluable for authors. However, it's worth noting that traditional publishers typically offer lower royalty rates than self-publishing platforms.

Another alternative to self-publishing is hybrid publishing, which combines aspects of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Hybrid publishers offer some of the services of traditional publishers, like editing and cover design, while also allowing authors more control over their work and higher royalty rates. At the same time though, hybrid publishers often charge large fees to enter such a process which can be off putting for many authors.

Finally, there are also small presses and independent publishers that can offer a middle ground between traditional and self-publishing. These publishers typically offer more personalized attention to authors and may be more open to niche or experimental work.

Kobo Writing Life Review – Final Verdict

To summarise then, it is evident that Kobo Writing Life is a really good platform for writers seeking to self publish. It is well established, offers far more to writers than just publishing with its secondary benefits we mentioned and has a successful history to show proof of concept. That does not mean however it is the only option.

Writers who decide on self publishing are likely to be best placed by using Kobo Writing Life in a tandem effort rather than their only effort. By combining multiple self publishing platforms, they will create the highest chances of their work being a success.

It is true that some platforms have exclusivity over self published titles so writers will have to be careful to consider the fine print, but Kobo Writing Life is a great place to start.

4 Stars

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