At the start of this month, I launched Coding Isis as an EPub formatted book on Kobo using their new Kobo Writing Life do-it-yourself publishing portal.
Like Amazon’s Kindle, there are Kobo eReaders (mini, glo, touch, and arc) and also a bunch of free reading apps that will let you read on iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, Blackberry, and even an Instant Reader that allows you read in a Web browser.
I made the EPub version using Calibre software. I previously blogged about how you could use this software to convert the Kindle version if you have a different reader and when I did this I wasn’t fully satisfied with the result, so I went back to basics and edited the HTML source to strip out some of the non-essential formatting left behind by Word and also produced a table of contents which, on the Kobo reading app allows you to easily see how many pages are left in a chapter (I don’t know about you but when I’m reading I like to finish on a chapter break and it’s nice to know how many pages you have to go).
Kobo writing life is obviously a competitor to Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) but it has a number of advantages for the independent author. For New Zealand authors you can specify a bank account and get paid electronically (although I believe you have to sell some books first, so I can’t be 100% sure this works!) If you want to set your price to free, you can do so at any time, for as long as you want, and without needing to exclude your book from other eBook outlets. Finally the royalty rate is higher than on KDP (currently they have a special offer giving 80% instead of 70%—see previous note about this only being applicable if you actually sell books).
So there you have it! If you know someone with a Kobo reader, please let them know about my book. Oh, and just between you and me, it’s currently free on the Kobo site. Here’s the link to the book.