2014 London Book Fair

The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. This is the place where authors, agents, publishers, and industry professionals from all over the globe meet for talks, workshops, networking, and the celebration of books.

Diego Marano, UK Manager and Camille Mofidi, European Manager for Kobo Writing Life spent time at the Author HQ located in the middle of the Digital Zone, chairing talks with bestselling authors, meeting with aspiring writers or confirmed hybrid authors, hosting professional photo shoots for authors, and many more events.

Here’s a high level overview of the busy days in London

Tuesday April 8th: Breaking through: What independent authors know about reaching readers

Diego Marano, Kobo Writing Life Manager, UK, led a conversation with Orna Ross, Founder & Director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and author Ben Galley about key tips in marketing for authors

Quote: “Promoting your book is a long journey. If you are not true to yourself, people will end up noticing that”

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The crowd was standing room only. Even Kobo’s President & Chief Content Officer Michael Tamblyn couldn’t get close to the stage.

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Tuesday April 8th: Opening Up to Indie Authors global launch by ALLi at the Kobo booth

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Tuesday April 8th: Opening Up to Indie Authors global launch by ALLi on the Kobo boothThe Alliance of Independent Authors launched its brand new guide dedicated to “authors and everyone who brings books from writers to readers”. The guide was launched by authors of the guide Dan Holloway, Debbie Young and series editor /ALLi director Orna Ross on the Kobo booth. The guide was on promo during the fair and is available on Kobo stores worldwide with the help of ALLi members.



Porter Anderson covered the event

Porter Anderson covered the event

‘Selfie publishing’ with Dan Holloway, Debbie Young, Orna Ross, Hugh Howey, Jessica Bell, Diego Marano.

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Wednesday April 9th: Eating the cake, too: The new breed of “Hybrid” authors have the best of both worlds

In that session, Diego Marano led a stimulating conversation with hybrid author Hugh Howey, whose WOOL trilogy is an international bestseller. They talked about Hugh’s incredible success, his journey in self-publishing, his relationships with agents and publishers and retailers such as Kobo.

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Wednesday April 9th: INDIE BESTSELLERS go global at the London Book Fair!

Indie Bestselling Authors Bella Andre, Stephanie Bond, Barbara Freethy, Liliana Hart, Candice Hern, Hugh Howey and Jasinda Wilder have sold over 15 million ebooks all together. These phenomenal authors decided to go global by hosting the “Indie Bestsellers” booth at the London Book Fair this year. They were extremely busy during the fair, giving a Publishing 3.0 Seminar, hosting a book signing at their booth and talking on stage and with the press.

This stellar group of international bestsellers spent some time relaxing in the Kobo booth entertained by KWL Managers Diego Marano and Camille Mofidi, sharing their insight on this collective initiative, which is a first among indie authors.

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Thursday April 10th: The world at their feet: New opportunities in digital distribution for independent authors

Camille Mofidi, Kobo Writing Life European Manager led an inspiring discussion with internationally bestselling author Bella Andre about her brand, her strategy to win foreign markets and her partnership with Kobo for the French translation of her “Four Weddings and a Fiasco” series.

Quote: “When Kobo Writing Life offered me a translation, I couldn’t have accepted fast enough”

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Professional photo shoot in the Author HQ, courtesy of Kobo Writing Life

Last but not least, Kobo Writing Life offered authors attending London Book Fair to have their photo shoot by a genuine fashion photographer for free. More than 100 authors came to the KWL booth in the Author HQ to have their photo shoot by Stefano Masse.

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Stay tuned to the KWL blog for more detailed posts, including videos of the fascinating and insightful interviews.

Introducing Red Door Reads and WHO’S BEN SKREWD?

Who is Ben Skrewd? Who is Red Door Reads for that matter, you might be wondering. The 21 bestselling authors who make up Red Door Reads offer romance in all flavors and genres – contemporary, historical, YA, western, sports, etc. – with new releases popping up and topping the charts all the time. So that’s Red Door Reads. Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 3.09.04 PM

But WHO’S BEN SKREWD? Well, that’s a little bit of a story. You see, last year, a number of the Red Door authors met at the RWA National Conference for a chance to bond in person vs. online. This group of ladies were discussing what sort of project they could do as a group. They didn’t want to do a holiday theme or something that had been done already, but they did want something universal. Someone posed the loaded question, “So who’s Ben Skrewd?” Though, in all honesty, it might not have been spelled the same way. Or maybe it was. After all, the question wasn’t written down, but posed verbally. But we digress… Red Door Reads 'Ben Skrewd' Novella Banner

Anyway, after a few chuckles, we all realized that everyone has had the feeling of “Ben Skrewd” at one point or another in their life. Story ideas began to flow, and it didn’t take long for half of the Red Door authors to decide to take those story ideas and create a novella series like no other. There are 11 different novellas in the collection, and it is comprised of stories set in 19th Century England to present day Milwaukee and Ireland. Heroes who are cops and some who are aristocratic lords. Heroines who slay demons and some who see ghosts.


Each novella is as different and diverse as our membership, but each story has two things in common. One – A red door on each cover outside, and Two – a mysterious character named Ben Skrewd somewhere on the pages inside. And, of course, the novellas can be found here at Kobo. Naturally.

We have had such a great time working on this project together and might be planning something surrounding a certain unscrupulous beach house owner – though that’s another story for another day. Do stay tuned, however.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll all be able to join us as we celebrate the launch of WHO’S BEN SKREWD? For a short period of time, each Who’s Ben Skrewd novella is on sale for $0.99.


And beginning this afternoon (April 15th at 2:00pm Central Time) we start celebrating our launch with a Facebook release party. (Confetti is most definitely allowed.) There will be all sorts of prizes/giveaways and the opportunity to talk to your favorite Red Door authors. Please join us – https://www.facebook.com/events/798282543534467/

Also starting today, we’re sponsoring slightly different kind of contest that runs through April 22nd. Each Ben Skrewd novella author has hidden a silhouette of “Ben” somewhere on our websites. Can YOU find all of the missing Bens? If so, submit your answers Here – for a chance to win an iPad mini!



Without further ado…

The Red Door Reads ‘Who’s Ben Skrewd?’ Novella Series – click each link below to buy the eBooks on kobo.com!

Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness by Deb Marlowe, A Half Moon House Series Novella

 Hexed by Andris Bear, A Deadly Sins Novella

Dances with Demons by Lori Handeland, A Phoenix Chronicles Novella

Firebird by Linda Winstead Jones, A Columbyana Novella

In the Stars by Ava Stone, A Regency Encounter Novella

Her Muse, Lord Patrick by Jane Charles, A Muses Novella


Halifax Author Event

KWL Director Mark Leslie Lefebvre will be connecting with authors at the first annual Halifax Author Event.

It will be taking place on Saturday April 5th, 2014, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. at the Lord Nelson Hotel – 1515 South Park Street, Halifax, NS

Authors that will be in attendance include:

Donna Alward, Paul W. Bennett, Barbara DeLory, Devonna Edwards, Richard Foot, Genevieve Graham, Deborah Hale, Jennifer Hatt, Judith James, Janice Landry, Mark Leslie, Victoria Levack, Jim Lindsey, Bruce MacNab, Jennie Marsland, Francis Mitchell, DC Rhind, Shawna Romkey, Julia Phillips Smith, Gail Stroeher, Steve Vernon

 We Look forward to seeing you there!

Halifax Author Event

Opening Up To Indie Authors

When The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) was founded in 2012, the idea was to create an association that not only provided education, support and promotion for self-published authors — but also to campaign on their behalf. The Open Up to Indie Authors campaign is our latest author advocacy programme, aimed at book fairs and conferences, award bodies and libraries, festival and event organisers, retailers and reviewers, and anyone who acts as a bridge between writer and reader.

And at self-publishing writers too.

Such author-publishers have now proven their commercial and creative worth. Many ALLi members have sold more than 100,000 copies, and some have sold millions. They are also publishing books of niche reader interest and outstanding literary quality too.

Agents and publishers are waiting in the wings to jump on the latest self-published hit but if we look to the wider world of books, we see self-publishing writers largely excluded on dubious grounds.

Which is where our Open Up to Indie Authors campaign comes in. Our aim is to challenge and debunk some of the popular myths that may stop players like libraries, reviewers, bookstores, festivals and prizes from embracing self-published work. And to provide ways they can incorporate self-publishing into their shelves and schedules.

Take the often mooted “problem” of discoverability, the idea that the number of books published has grown to such slush-pile proportions that it’s hard to discover good books among bad. Unpicking this argument takes but a simple change of mindset: from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking; from commercial imperatives to creative.

Trade publishing has long worked from a scarcity model, grounded in commercial principles. Now we write and read within an abundance model, grounded in creative principles.

In an abundance model, excess and redundancy are no cause for concern.  It is true self-publishing is enabling more poor-quality books to be published than ever before but what’s important in an abundance model is not how many bad books are enabled — they quickly fall out of visibility — but how many good books are enabled.

The fears surrounding discovery often come from those who are invested in an older order, who don’t seem to understand how it now works for readers, who are increasingly buying and researching books online. Online algorithms are very effective — and getting better. Book search through categories and keywords offer tailored discovery that is far more nuanced than browsing a bookstore.

Readers can access book descriptions, independent reader reviews, and samples before they decide to buy. In short, good books are actually easier to find than they have ever been.

And when viewed through a creative, rather than critical or commercial lens, we see a publishing world that is colourful and chaotic and kaleidoscopic and all the richer for it. The challenge here is not so much discoverability, it’s actually enabling the publishing industry to acknowledge and reflect that truth.

The Open Up to Indie Authors campaign includes a petition, a hashtag (#PublishingOpenUp), lobbying of the industry, education seminars and a guidebook,

The guidebook Opening Up to Indie Authors by Debbie Young, ALLi’s blog editor, and Dan Holloway, an ALLi community builder, aims to do three things:

  • equip self-published authors with the information and attitude they need to collaborate successfully with other players in the books and literary ecosystem.
  • tackle the challenges of incorporating self-published books into literary organisations and events.
  • raise awareness of the high quality and professional standards offered by the best self-publishing authors — and encourage their inclusion.

Opening+Up+To+Indie+Authors The guidebook is the first of its kind and the launch marks another publishing first for The Alliance of Independent Authors. In association with Kobo Writing Life, the self-publishing wing of Kobo Books, and harnessing their links with retail partner bookstores all over the world, we are simultaneously launching this guide in bookstores around Europe, the US and Canada as well as across the UK and Ireland.

To be able to work with Kobo Writing Life (KWL) is a publishing pleasure, and has allowed ALLi to launch our campaign on an unprecedented scale.

We greatly admire the close links Kobo has fostered with their global retail network and directly with people like you; and their ability to transcend the borders of online and off. We see in Kobo a huge success story of how the industry does not need to be divided and how we all benefit when seemingly disparate strands are brought together.

Come to our launch: If you are attending London book fair we’d like to invite you to the launch at the Kobo Booth, Earl’s Court 2 on Tuesday 8th April, 2.00pm, where you can purchase copies of our guidebook, Opening Up To Indie Authors, with 50% off.

Find us at Author HQ (at London Book Fair), on Tuesday 8th April, from 1:00 –2:00 pm, where Diego Marano, Kobo Writing Life Manager, UK, will lead a conversation with Orna Ross, Founder & Director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and author Ben Galley entitled “Breaking through. What independent authors know about reaching readers.”

  • Join ALLi If you are a self-published author, we’d like to invite you to join ALLi so you can avail of this opportunity.
  • Read An Indie Author: If you are a reader, we look forward to bringing you an exciting range of books in all genres through this campaign.
  • Sign Our Petition: Finally, if you agree that all other things being equal, a self-published book should be treated equally, we’d like to invite you to sign our petition: .



The One Big Book Launch – Ensuring Good Books Get Read

CompletelyNovel-Logo-White-400x64has teamed up with Literally PR to offer authors the chance to launch their books at a highly publicized event on April 30th 2014.

Sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, Scrivener and Moo.com, the One Big Book Launch will see ten authors launch ten different books at the same event in London, sharing publicity, readers and celebrations. The event is the first of its kind, and is currently accepting submissions from authors who have had a book published since 1st December 2013.


Submissions close on 30th March – so get your entries in fast! Books are being judged on quality of writing and commercial potential by a team of judges from CompletelyNovel. All chosen authors will receive a table at the event to sign and sell books, a chance to talk about their book on stage, five reserved places for friends and family, an author pack containing exclusive offers and discounts, and the chance to celebrate the release of their book at a top London venue with catering and two hundred guests. Also attending the event will be members of the press, literary scouts and publishing professionals.

Author signups are now OPEN – Click here to sign up before 30th March See you on 30th April!

CompletelyNovel is a friendly publishing platform, specialising in POD self-publishing and advice for writers.
Authors can publish print copies of their books using CompletelyNovel’s easy-to-use online tools, for as little as £7.99 a month, and keep 100% of their book royalties. Click here to find out more.

A Writer’s Conference for the Independently Minded

In just a couple of days, IndieReCon will return to the web and Kobo Writing Life is delighted to be a sponsor! 
IndieReCon 2014, in its second year, is a free online writer’s conference dedicated to indie publishing. That’s right. It’s free. And you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to attend and benefit from all the great content. You can attend right from home in your jammies, if you like.

Last year with over 10,000 visitors, IndieReCon was awesome with chats and giveaways and days of helpful and pertinent information. 

This year will be even bigger and better!

To kick it off, keynote speakers, Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath, will host a 2-hour chat to talk about The Evolving Indie Industry and Standing out in the Pile and then entertain live questions.

You’ll also discover insider secrets from representatives from Kobo, Smashwords, Amazon and Goodreads, and learn how to write fast, try your hand at serials, work with other authors to maximize your marketing efforts and much, much more.  Kobo Writing Life‘s Mark Lefebvre will be providing insights on maximizing your sales at Kobo (Thurs Feb 27th at  11 AM EST) as well as Kobo’s engagement with indie bookstores and other bookstore partners (Thurs Feb 27th at 8:00 PM EST).

Indie ReCon will have contests and tons of giveaways including two KOBO eReaders! (That alone is worth the price of admission. Oh wait, admission is FREE – and have we mentioned that you don’t need to leave your home to attend?)

Click here for the top 15 reasons on why you should register. (We’re kind of partial to reason number 9)

Our other special speakers include:

Rachel Aaron 
Micahel Alvear
Angela Ackerman
Peter Bowerman (The Well-Fed Writer)
Margaret Brown (Shelf Unbound)
Patrick Brown (Goodreads)
Chelsea Cameron
Ali Cross 
Lori Culwell
Amy Edelman (IndieReader)
David Gaughran 
Chelsea Fine
Joel Friedlander (The Book Designer)
The Indelibles
S.R. Johannes 
C.S. Lakin
Martha Carr
Jim Kukral (Author Marketing Club)
Bob Mayer 
Joanna Penn
Sean Platt
Susan Kaye Quinn 
Orna Ross (ALLI founder)
Miral Sattar (BiblioCrunch)
K.P. Simmon (InkSlinger PR)
Johnny B. Truant
Alicia Vancil
David Vandagriff (The Passive Guy)
David Wright
RaShelle Workman

Check out the schedule, speaker bios, and awesome sponsors.

We’ll see you at IndieReCon Feb 25-27! (Okay we won’t really see you. That’s just an expression. So if you want to check it out from the comfort of your PJs, go ahead. We won’t be peeking)

Indies for indies: the latest news on KWL bookstore events

We can help self-published authors work with and support their local independent bookstore.  Through our partnership with the American Booksellers Association, authors can work with booksellers to sell their eBooks through the store’s website. Both parties benefit from the sales, and the authors can enjoy a real presence in–and an active relationship with–the bookstore and their local community.

The partnership between independent bookstores, independent authors, and Kobo Writing Life is an important one – the promotion of one helps the promotion of all, we believe, and by helping each other reach more readers, we make all three stronger. Your success is our success.

You may remember the announcement in September that Kobo Writing Life would be coordinating events bringing together local indie bookstores and authors, to make the most of our partnership with the American Booksellers Association. We absolutely love giving KWL authors this opportunity to promote their eBooks in bookstores, and spreading the word that you can support your local indie bookstore by buying books through kobo.com.

Following our inaugural event at Jan’s Paperbacks in November, KWL US Manager Christine Munroe has organized two more successful events, with many more to come, and we want to fill you in on all of the details!

In December, WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn hosted a packed crowd, eager to hear all about NYT bestselling author Barry Lyga’s experience as a hybrid author.

Barry reads from his first novel for adults, UNSOUL’D

Barry reads from his first novel for adults, UNSOUL’D

Following a reading of Barry’s first self-published book, UNSOUL’D, Christine joined him onstage for a Q&A session about self-publishing.

Barry and Christine celebrate what Barry described as a “terrific event.”

Barry and Christine celebrate what Barry described as a “terrific event.”

2014 got off to a great start with a huge KWL event at Housing Works Bookstore Café in NYC. Christine moderated a panel of local eBook and self-publishing experts: Miral Sattar from BiblioCrunch, Mary Cummings from Diversion Books, Oren Berman of Authoright, and indie author Nathaniel Kressen, who runs Second Skin Books.

Christine, Mary, Miral, Oren, and Nathaniel share tips about valuable resources available to self-published authors.

Christine, Mary, Miral, Oren, and Nathaniel share tips about valuable resources available to self-published authors.

A lively crowd of over 100 indie authors and publishing professionals learned about the vast array of options available to authors today.

Over 100 attendees gathered at Housing Works Bookstore Café.

Over 100 attendees gathered at Housing Works Bookstore Café.


Each of these events will feature an eReader giveaway, free eBooks, and more, so please join us if you’re in the area:

Village Books

Bellingham, WA

Saturday, January 25, 12:00-3:00pm

Event details

 Tattered Cover

Colfax Ave, Denver, CO

Tuesday, February 4, 7:30pm

Event details

 More to come! Stay tuned…

Bookstores interested in hosting a KWL-sponsored event should contact Christine at cmunroe@kobo.com

Event: Night Out with Authors, Toronto

NIGHT OUT WITH AUTHORS is a bi-monthly reading series held in Toronto, conceived as a vehicle for bringing readers together with local published, genre-fiction authors in a friendly, casual way. Our goal is to showcase the wealth of writing talent in Canada and to introduce readers to authors and genres they might not have considered reading in the past. We build plenty of time into the evenings for Q&A sessions, so come learn more about the many wonderful authors who live in our area.

Collectively, founding members Ann Lethbridge, Mary Sullivan, Kate Bridges and Margaret Moore have had more then 90 books published, including contemporary and historical romance, Young Adult, mystery and steampunk. We are passionate about genre fiction!

Kelly Armstrong, reading from OMENS, during a past Night Out.

Kelly Armstrong, reading from OMENS, during a past Night Out.

Our first two events were a lot of fun. In November, we added an Open Mic for Writers to the evening and the response was so positive it will be a permanent feature at future events. The Open Mic is open to any published or unpublished author to read from a completed work of genre fiction, from a novel, short story or novella, but please no sex or violence. With the Open Mic, we hope to showcase even more local talent! We hold our readings at the Tranzac Club where the atmosphere is easy and the audience enthusiastic, so this is a non-threatening opportunity to practice reading your work. When you arrive, drop your name into a jar at the door and eight to ten names will be drawn for the Open Mic.

Click here for full details about the Open Mic.

Please join us on Monday, January 20th, from 7:15 until 9:00, when our guest authors will be:

Doors open at 6:30. There is a $5 admission charge to cover the cost of renting the room. The Tranzac is a great venue in that you are allowed to bring in food, but please purchase all drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, from the Club.

Professional head shots, courtesy of KWL

At the recent Self-Publishing Book Expo in NYC, indie authors got ready for their close-ups, each taking home a FREE set of professional author head shots.

The Kobo Writing Life team brought in local professional photographer Michael Benabib, who did an amazing job snapping pictures of conference attendees.

Michael Benabib, a professional corporate photographer, shoots SPBE authors

Michael Benabib, a professional corporate photographer, shoots SPBE authors

Kate Tilton, an Author Assistant and Social Media Manager, used her new headshot to update her Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

“A professional photo is one of the three things I recommend authors invest in. Cover, editing, and author photo,” Tilton says. “Your author photo reflects who you are as an author and having a professional photo shows you care about your work and you don’t cut corners! I’m so thankful for the author photos I received from Kobo Writing Life.”

“I'm so thankful for the author photos I received from Kobo Writing Life," says Kate Tilton.

“I’m so thankful for the author photos I received from Kobo Writing Life,” says Kate Tilton.

Benabib notes, “I love photographing authors because I don’t have to take ‘smiley’ photos. I can take pictures that show their intellect and innate thoughtfulness.”

He especially loved shooting at SPBE, because it allowed him to “meet a diverse group of authors – from horror novelists to children’s book writers. There’s no range limit within the Kobo Writing Life catalog!”

The conference attendees and KWL team enjoyed working with Michael, and highly recommend his services if you’re in the New York area and in need of a new head shot.

The unique offer was a resounding success, which we plan to replicate at future KWL events. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to get free head shots, sponsored by Kobo Writing Life!

US Manager Christine Munroe and Merchandiser Shayna Krishnasamy man the KWL table.

US Manager Christine Munroe and Merchandiser Shayna Krishnasamy man the KWL table.


Calling all NaNoWriMo winners: it’s time to grab your prizes!

Huge congratulations to all of you NaNoWriMo winners! You put in long hours and hard work, and it paid off – now a bounty of amazing prizes awaits you. As a proud sponsor of NaNoWriMo, Kobo Writing Life is offering 10 FREE eBooks for all winners. Highlights include THE DEAD AND EMPTY WORLD, a collection of dystopian short stories by NYT bestselling author Carrie Ryan; DIY PUBLISHING, a comprehensive guide to self-publishing by Maggie Lynch; GINGERBREAD MAN, a romantic suspense by NYT bestselling author Maggie Shayne – and many more! You don’t want to miss this amazing collection of KWL staff favorites.

You’ll find this great giveaway and offers from our fellow sponsors at the NaNoWriMo Winner Goodies page. Enjoy your prizes – you definitely earned them!


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