Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
Contents
GENERAL INQUIRIES............................................................................................................................................ 1
How do I distribute my content through Kobo? ............................................................................................. 1
What is the cost to distribute my eBooks? ..................................................................................................... 1
How do I protect my content? ........................................................................................................................ 1
Who owns the rights to my books? ................................................................................................................ 1
FILE TYPES AND FORMATTING ............................................................................................................................ 2
What file types can be uploaded? .................................................................................................................. 2
What is an ePub? ............................................................................................................................................ 2
How do I preview my books? .......................................................................................................................... 2
How do I make a change to my book after it is published? ............................................................................ 2
I receive an error when I try to upload my file. How can I fix this? ................................................................ 2
METADATA .......................................................................................................................................................... 3
What is metadata? .......................................................................................................................................... 3
What is an eISBN and how do I get one? ........................................................................................................ 3
PAYMENT, TAXES, AND SALES FIGURES .............................................................................................................. 5
How do I get paid? .......................................................................................................................................... 5
What will my royalties be? ............................................................................................................................. 5
How do I change the currency I am paid in? .................................................................................................. 5
I can’t find my bank branch. How do I enter my banking information? ......................................................... 6
Why doesn’t my payment match my dashboard? .......................................................................................... 6
How do I find my tax forms? ........................................................................................................................... 6
Do I need an Individual Taxpayer Identifier Number (ITIN)? .......................................................................... 6
What is Kobo’s EIN? ........................................................................................................................................ 7
MARKETING AND PLACEMENT IN STORE ........................................................................................................... 7
How can my book be placed in the Kobo Writing Life newsletter or blog? ................................................... 7
How are rankings on your site determined? .................................................................................................. 7
How do I set up a pre-order for my book? ..................................................................................................... 7
How do I set up a temporary promo price for my book? ............................................................................... 8
Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
How do I make my book available for free? ................................................................................................... 8
ACCOUNT ............................................................................................................................................................ 8
How do I change my login email address or password? ................................................................................. 8
How do I de-list a book? ................................................................................................................................. 8
PARTNERSHIPS .................................................................................................................................................... 9
Where else can Kobo distribute my eBooks? ................................................................................................. 9
Is there another way to distribute to Kobo? .................................................................................................. 9
Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
GENERAL INQUIRIES
How do I distribute my content through Kobo?
It’s simple. Once you sign up for Kobo Writing Life you can download and review our Writing Life
User Guide which offers details about the various steps in your publishing journey. But, in a nutshell,
here’s the process:

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
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
Accept the Terms of Agreement. (You only need to do this once)
Enter eBook information (Title, Author Name, Description, Category, etc.), upload
your cover, and upload either your ePub file or your manuscript for free conversion to
ePub format.
Indicate whether you want to apply Digital Rights Management (DRM).
Set the territory and pricing information.
Publish your eBook.
What is the cost to distribute my eBooks?
Nothing! Kobo does not charge a fee for distributing your eBooks. Kobo will also convert your
manuscript to the ePub standard format entirely for free and with no strings attached.
Please see the payment section for details on royalties.
How do I protect my content?
Kobo takes a number of steps to prevent your content from being copied, saved, distributed and
reproduced. We offer our vendors the option to enable Digital Rights Management (DRM) on all of
their titles.
Who owns the rights to my books?
You do! In fact, we require that you own the digital rights to the content you wish to provide to
us. If you only own the digital rights to your content in certain territories, you can make that
available for sale using our flexible territorial rights management tool within Kobo Writing Life’s
easy DIY portal.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
FILE TYPES AND FORMATTING
What file types can be uploaded?
You can upload your content file in any of the following formats and they will be converted into a
Kobo formatted ePub:
• .doc and .docx
• .odt
• .ePub
• .mobi
Regardless of the file type, the file size for your book cannot exceed 100MB.
What is an ePub?
Kobo proudly supports the ePub file format (with an .epub file extension), the industry standard
electronic book format. ePubs are reflowable, meaning they can be distributed across a wide array
of channels and devices without losing their structure. They provide readers with the opportunity
to open a Kobo eBook on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, as well as our Kobo eReaders!
How do I preview my books?
To preview your book, go to the “eBooks” tab within your KWL account, select the book, and go to
the “Add eBook Content” step. After uploading a file, select “Download and preview this book”.
Then you can save your ePub to any location on your computer and open it in an ePub viewer. For
example, Adobe Editions and Calibre are both free ePub viewers.
How do I make a change to my book after it is published?
To change the content of your book or its metadata after publication, just select the book from
within your KWL account, make the desired change, and save. Once saved, the updates will be
reflected on our site within the following 24 hours.
I receive an error when I try to upload my file. How can I fix this?
File upload errors are due to formatting issues within the file.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
If you are uploading an ePub, please run the file through an ePub validator (e.g. Epub Checker) and
correct any errors that appear prior to re-uploading.
If you are uploading a file in a different format, please ensure that your file is consistent with our
conversion guidelines (under the Help section of your account) prior to re-uploading. If you continue
to receive an error, please get in touch with us at writinglife@kobo.com.
METADATA
What is metadata?
Metadata is defined as data about data. For an eBook, metadata is the collection of information
about your eBook (like its title, eISBN, author, publisher, categories, language, territorial rights,
etc.). Although it is not as exciting or as interesting as anything readers will find in your eBooks,
metadata is critical for getting every eBook up for sale right side up, with all the information readers
will need to find it in our store.
The great news is that Kobo Writing Life gives you an easy way not only to enter your metadata,
territorial rights, and pricing information, but also allows you to update those values quickly and
easily.
What is an eISBN and how do I get one?
ISBN is an abbreviation for International Standard Book Number. Similarly to how hardcover texts
have a separate ISBN from their paperback counterparts, the eBook version of your content
requires a unique identifier as well.
You will be able to publish through Kobo without an eISBN, but we strongly advise that you have
one so you can take full advantage of Kobo’s partnership with leading retailers around the world.
eISBNs are a requirement of a number of our international retail partners and the inclusion of an
eISBN will allow us to distribute your eBook through all possible channels.
Depending on where in the world you are located, there are different agencies that can supply you
with an ISBN number for different costs.
Canada
Publishers based in Canada can get an ISBN number from Library and
Archives Canada for free.
How to Apply
3
Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
United States
UK
Ireland
and
Rest
Europe
of
The United States ISBN Agency is the only official source authorized to
assign ISBNs to publishers based in the United States. Prices for ISBNs
range from $100 USD to $1000 USD, depending on the number of ISBN
numbers you purchase.
About
the
agency
and
downloadable
user
guides
Pricing
The Neilson UK ISBN Agency is responsible for assigning ISBN numbers
to publishers based in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Prices for ISBNs
range from £118.68 to £576.48, depending on the number of ISBN
numbers
you
purchase.
FAQs for New Publishers
Pricing
To find the agency that is responsible for issuing an ISBN in your
country or region, visit the International ISBN Agency website. To
find the institution responsible for issuing ISBNs in your country,
follow the “National Agencies” link on the left hand-side of the page
and then use the dropdown menu to select your country.
New Zealand
The National Library of New Zealand provides ISBN numbers to
publishers based in New Zealand for free.
General information
Australia
Publishers based in Australia can obtain an ISBN number from the
ISBN Agency Australia. Prices for ISBNs range from $40 AUD to $2,750
AUD, depending on the number of ISBNs you purchase, plus a $55
AUD publisher registration fee.
General information and pricing
More information about ISBNs can be found
http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/us/isbnqa.asp
at
the
following
website:
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Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
PAYMENT, TAXES, AND SALES FIGURES
How do I get paid?
Kobo offers a standard Independent Publisher Program contract through Kobo Writing Life. You can
receive royalty payments from Kobo via EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) directly in to your bank
account. Authors are paid 45 days after the end of each monthly period provided they have met a
minimum threshold of $50 USD.
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
If your content has not generated the minimum threshold listed above, we will provide
you with payment every 6 months
Sales from your books in all countries are amalgamated to reach the threshold listed above
What will my royalties be?
You will receive 70% of the list price for the book (the price the customer pays not including taxes)
for each copy of the book that is sold, provided it adheres to the following pricing rules:

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

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greater than or equal to $2.99 USD in the US,
greater than or equal to £1.99 GBP in the UK,
greater than or equal to $2.99 CAD in Canada,
greater than or equal to $2.99 AUD in Australia,
greater than or equal to €1.99 EUR in the European Union,
greater than or equal to $2.99 NZD in New Zealand,
greater than or equal to $15.99 HKD in Hong Kong,
greater than or equal to ¥299JPY in Japan,
For original works priced below this threshold, you will receive 45% of the list price.
For books that are a part of the public domain, you will receive 20% of the list price.
How do I change the currency I am paid in?
1. Please make sure that you set an “override” price in your new currency for each of your books.
When you change your default currency, you need to ensure that the prices in that currency are
set manually, using the “override” price option, and are not being automatically converted from
a different currency.
To override a price, go to the “eBooks” tab in your KWL account, select the book in question, go
to the “Set the Price” step, and then set the switch in the “Override Price” column to a
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Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
checkmark. Enter your price and save.
2. Email writinglife@kobo.com to ask that we change your default payment currency. Please
remember to also indicate the email address associated with your Kobo Writing Life account.
I can’t find my bank branch. How do I enter my banking information?
Please make sure that you are entering the correct routing number into the “SWIFT / Routing
Number / IBAN” field on the Payment Information page. This varies based on your currency of
payment.
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CAD: 9-digit transit code (begins with 0, then 3-digit bank number, then 5-digit branch code)
USD: 9-digit ABA for an ACH transfer
EUR: IBAN
GBP: IBAN or 6-digit Sort Code
AUD: 6-digit BSB code
NZD: 6-digit beneficiary bank code
HKD: 6-digit Hong Kong Clearing Code
JPY: 8 to 11-digit SWIFT code
Why doesn’t my payment match my dashboard?
The dashboard is a simple and high level overview of estimated earnings, which currently does not
take into account coupon codes, purchasing discounts, refunds, or any other variations that might
have occurred at the transaction level. In contrast, however, the monthly sales reports that authors
receive by email from our Finance department are accurate and match the payments that you
receive.
Note that if you participate in a promotion that provides discounting (ex: coupon codes), you will
receive a credit memo from our Finance department in addition to the monthly sales report. In this
case, the payment you receive will then match the sales report total minus the credit memo total.
How do I find my tax forms?
Our Finance Team does not send out any reports for tax purposes other than the monthly sales
reports that are emailed out to our authors. If you have not received these sales reports, please do
not hesitate to get in touch with us at writinglife@kobo.com.
Do I need an Individual Taxpayer Identifier Number (ITIN)?
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Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
Nope! Kobo is a Canadian company. You do not need an ITIN and we do not withhold taxes on your
sales.
What is Kobo’s EIN?
Kobo is a Canadian company and does not have an EIN. If you are unsure as to how to declare your
eBook sales on your taxes, it is advised that you consult your accountant.
MARKETING AND PLACEMENT IN STORE
How can my book be placed in the Kobo Writing Life newsletter or blog?
We are always interested in meeting new authors and learning more about their titles. A great way
to
give
us
some
information
about
you
is
to
fill
out
our
Q&A:
https://vrcoordinator.wufoo.com/forms/kwl-qa/
We cannot guarantee placement in one of our newsletters, but filling in the form will help us
determine if you would be a good fit.
If you’re interested in writing a blog post for the Kobo Writing Life blog (http://kobowritinglife.com/)
on any subject having to do with writing or self-publishing, you can make some suggestions in the
“make up your own question” section of the Q&A. We’ll be in touch if one of your article ideas meets
our needs.
How can my book be placed in feature spots such as the “Free eBooks” collection or
other sale promotions?
Starting in the summer of 2015, your opportunity to have your work considered for various featured
promotions will appear directly inside the Kobo Writing Life Dashboard. Make sure you’ve checked
“yes” to receive emails and the monthly KWL newsletter so you can be notified of great promotional
opportunities as they become available.
How are rankings on your site determined?
The rankings within each category on our site take into account a number of factors, including
number of sales and number of titles within a given category. The ranking of a particular book will
therefore fluctuate based not only on its volume of sales, but on the number of books in the
category, and on the sales of those other books.
How do I set up a pre-order for my book?
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Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
Select the “Allow pre-orders” checkbox at the “Publish your eBook” step. Make sure to set the
activation date to a day in the future. In this case, your book will appear in our store, and customers
will be able to purchase it immediately, but will only receive a copy of the book at the activation
date.
How do I set up a temporary promo price for my book?
Once your book is published, to set up a temporary price for your book, select the book in your Kobo
Writing Life account, and go to the “Set the price” step. Select the “Set promo price” button below
the price table. This will allow you to set start and end dates for your promotion, as well as the price
by currency.
How do I make my book available for free?
Simply enter in a price of “0” in the “Set the price” step for your book, and it will appear as free in
our store.
ACCOUNT
How do I change my login email address or password?
To adjust your log in information, please go to our main site, www.kobo.com, and click on “My
Account”. This will bring you to your “Sign-in Information” and allow you to change your email
address and/or password.
How do I de-list a book?
In order to remove an eBook entry, please follow these steps:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Go to the Writing Life Dashboard.
Go to the eBooks section.
Select the eBook entry you wish to remove.
Look for the green “Save and next” button on the right-hand side.
Underneath that should be the option to remove the eBook.
Note that if you have already published the book, you will only have the option to “de-list” it instead
of removing it entirely. We have introduced this policy so that it will be easier for users to re-list
published works if they change their minds. If you have not yet published the book, you will be able
to delete it entirely.
8
Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
CAUTION: When re-publishing a de-listed book, the book will lose the rankings and associated
placement in search results which were accumulated when the book was initially published. Delisting books is therefore discouraged.
PARTNERSHIPS
Where else can Kobo distribute my eBooks?
Kobo is continuing to expand our global presence by partnering with a number of local and
international eBook retailers. Some of our current partnerships include:
Australia
Angus & Robertson
Australia
Bookworld
Australia
Collins
Brazil
Livraria Cultura
Canada
Indigo
France
FNAC
France
PriceMinister
India
WHSmith
Ireland
Eason & Son, Ltd.
Italy
Feltrinelli
Italy
Mondadori
Japan
Rakuten
Netherlands
Bol
New Zealand
The Paper Plus Group
Philippines
National Book Store
Portugal
FNAC
Spain
La Central
UK
WHSmith
US
American Booksellers Association (Participating Stores)
Please note that titles are automatically considered for distribution to our bookselling partners when
they are published via Kobo Writing Life.
Is there another way to distribute to Kobo?
Kobo celebrates a “Read Freely” philosophy and has great relationships with publishers and data
aggregation services around the world. We recognize that some authors would rather enter their
9
Frequently Asked Questions
Revised September 2015
content in a single system and have it pushed out to various retailers.
If that works better for you, then you might consider working with a digital aggregator. The
following aggregators are just a few that are currently distributing content to Kobo and can deliver
your content directly to us as well:

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
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

Draft2Digital (US)
Book Baby (US)
Book Hub (US)
Bookmasters (US)
Book Pod (Australia)
eBookit (US)
eBook Partnership (UK)
Fast Pencil (US)
IngramSpark (US)
Smashwords (US)
Please be advised that most of the promotional opportunities made available through Kobo Writing
Life are available only to titles published directly through our platform. You will want to keep this in
mind when deciding whether to use an aggregator, as publishing through a third party may affect
your ability to participate in the various promotions run by KWL.
10
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