I read the thirty-two Tweets written by Kobo President, Michael Tamblyn to Indie Authors, saying, ‘You’re on Amazon’s Hit List.’ Quite honestly, he sounds like the Monty Python sketch, ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ He conveniently forgets about all the great things Amazon has done for self-published authors.
He also does a very good job of making one think that he is not up to the job, as his 32 Tweet manifesto reeks of sour grapes. To be blunt, Kobo has done little worthy of mention and is struggling at the very tail end of self-publishing. This may because they are far too busy criticising, complaining and scare mongering, and doing precious little innovation.
Kobo have been one of the most ‘stuck in the mud’ self-publishing platforms. You may recall a couple of years ago when Kobo banned all e-books distributed to them by Smashwords that had even a hint or erotica about them. So badly did they handle this that 1,000s upon 1,000s of ebooks were removed from sale by Kobo that were not remotely erotic at all. The reason given by Kobo was that they had come under pressure from credit card companies, who didn’t want pornography purchased via their credit cards.
Luckily, Kindle, Smashwords, Apple and all the other self-publishing providers knew there was a difference between pornography and erotica and did not react to this silliness by Mastercard and Visa and did not remove e-books from sale. It was Kobo alone who wrongly banned 1,000s of books because they didn’t understand. Or were they just being prudes?
Then there is one simple question I would ask? How many e-books do Kobo sell? Of all my e-book sales, I doubt Kobo has contributed enough for more than a beer or two for me. Perhaps this was caused by half of my e-books being incorrectly banned for a year.
So, in conclusion fellow self-published authors, I ask you, what has Kobo ever done for us?