Joanna Penn visits Kobo HQ!

Last night, the Kobo Writing Life team was thrilled to welcome Joanna Penn to our Toronto office. Joanna is a bestselling author-entrepreneur and professional speaker, and she shares invaluable information with the self-publishing community on her blog and podcast, The Creative Penn.

Joanna Penn speaks to a crowd of local authors at Kobo's Toronto headquarters.

Joanna Penn speaks to local authors at Kobo’s Toronto headquarters.

A packed house of local authors chatted with Joanna over drinks and snacks, then she took the stage with KWL Director Mark Lefebvre to speak about self-publishing and answer questions from the audience. The advice she shared was incredibly helpful and inspiring, so we wanted to share a few key takeaways with you here.

  • Remember that this industry is global. You can build a platform from anywhere in the world and reach an audience in countries you may have never heard of before!
  • Book publishing and marketing are processes that take time. Set long-term goals—we’re talking years, not days. Don’t give up if you do not see a return on your investment immediately.

    Joanna signs Kobo's Author Wall of Fame.

    Joanna signs Kobo’s Author Wall of Fame.

  • It’s ok to fail. The Creative Penn is Joanna’s third blog effort.
  • Take your work and yourself seriously as a business.
  • Do a little bit every day.
  • Be true to yourself and what you love in terms of your writing and marketing.
  • Think about every opportunity for every book, including print on demand, audio, and translation. You can turn each book into multiple product streams, such that ten books multiply to become 50 potential income sources.
  • Publish directly wherever you can. Every platform—KWL, iBooks, KDP, Nook, etc.—is a potential business partnership and can bring you new opportunities for success.
  • The writing life does not have to be lonely. Get online and engage with other authors on social media, join ALLi, or go to a conference. Even if you’re introverted, don’t be afraid to join the author community.
Joanna with the KWL team, from left: Operations Manager Jodi White, Director Mark Lefebvre, Coordinator Tara Cremin, Content Specialist Christina Potter, and US Manager Christine Munroe.

Joanna with the KWL team, from left: Operations Manager Jodi White, Director Mark Lefebvre, Coordinator Tara Cremin, Content Specialist Christina Potter, and US Manager Christine Munroe.

We are so grateful to Joanna for sharing her time and knowledge with us.

 

ADDITIONAL LINKS

Grab J.F. Penn’s newest release, DELIRIUM!

If you haven’t listened in to our podcast interview with Joanna, you can do so here.

KWL is a proud sponsor of The Creative Penn Podcast, which we can’t recommend highly enough.

 

Joanna PennJoanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers on the edge, as well as non-fiction for authors. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013.

Twitter: @thecreativepenn

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JFPennAuthor and  http://www.facebook.com/TheCreativePenn

Edinburgh International Book Festival’s brochure is available in eBook format free on the Kobo Store

Edinburg Festival Logo

Working in partnership with Kobo, Edinburgh International Book Festival has published its 2014 brochure through Kobo Writing Life.

The Book Festival’s eBook brochure is now available on the Kobo Store across over 190 countries. Readers can download it free, and read it across Kobo tablets and Kobo free reading apps.

If you already have a Kobo account and own either a Kobo tablet or a free Kobo reading app, you just have to download the brochure from the Kobo Store here.

 

If you do not have a Kobo account or a Kobo reading app, follow our step-by-step guide below for an easy way to browse the Book Festival’s brochure anytime, anywhere.

To create a Kobo account you need an active email address. You can also sign in through your Facebook account.

To create a Kobo account click here.

 

create an account

 

After you have created your Kobo account you are ready to download the Book Festival’s eBook brochure.

You can find the eBook by typing “edbookfest” in the search box.

 

search

 

You can now read the brochure, across any device, through our apps. To download the free Kobo reading app click here.

 

Apps Page on Kobo Store

Kobo mobile reading apps are available for: Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows. You can also read the brochure on your laptop through the Kobo desktop app for Mac and PC.

 

Once you have installed the Kobo App, launch it and sign in!

 

K App Create an Account

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The app will automatically sync with your Kobo account and show all your books in the library. Click on the Book Festival’s Brochure and enjoy the reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kobo app syncs all your bookmarks, so you can read between your smartphone, tablet, computer, or Kobo device and pick up right where you last left off.

 

ReadItOnAnyDevice

An exciting new initiative: Digital Book Day

“One day, one site, hundreds of authors and free books, all to celebrate our readers!”                         – CJ Lyons, founder of Digital Book Day

For three years, World Book Night was an effort to share the love of reading by giving away thousands of books in a single day, once per year. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding, World Book Night announced last week that they would cease US operations.

Author CJ Lyons quickly stepped up to the plate to organize something unique and exciting: Digital Book Day, an initiative with the same mission – celebrating readers – but featuring free digital copies instead of print editions. It’s all happening next week, on July 14, 2014.

DBDsquare“When I heard the news that World Book Night USA was over, it saddened me, “ Lyons told Kobo Writing Life. “And it came on the heels of so much upheaval and distress in the publishing industry that instead of addressing the issue with more rhetoric and empty words, I decided to take action.”

“After all, thanks to digital publishing, authors (traditionally published or self-published) have a less expensive and more efficient way to gift books to readers via e-books. I myself have given away over 50,000 print and e-books in the past five years—and it’s always, always, always led to new readers finding me, not to mention a ton of fun for me to do, kind of like Christmas all year round! So I thought, why not a self-funded Digital Book Day?”

We applaud CJ’s efforts and the inclusive spirit of Digital Book Day. Any author can submit a free book HERE, and link to their preferred retailer – including Kobo!

By self-publishing with Kobo Writing Life, you have the ability to price your titles free anytime, with no exclusivity. If you want to offer a book free for a limited time for Digital Book Day, use our easy price scheduling tool to schedule that price change ahead of time. Readers, remember you can find amazing free books any time on our First Free in  Series page: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/Collection/free-first-in-series

Find out more about Digital Book Day here: http://DigitalBookDay.com

About CJ Lyons

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-three novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has

Author and Digital Book Day founder CJ Lyons.

Author and Digital Book Day founder CJ Lyons.

lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (Newsday).

Her novels have won the International Thriller Writers’ prestigious Thriller Award, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Readers’ Choice Award, the RT Seal of Excellence, and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.

CJ will be giving away SNAKE SKIN for free on Digital Book Day. You can find all of her eBooks on kobo.com, including her latest release, FAREWELL TO DREAMS: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/farewell-to-dreams-a-novel-of-fatal-insomnia

Learn more about CJ’s Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net

 

 

KOBO REVIEWS COMING SOON!

In the near future, Kobo will begin featuring book reviews!

Customers will be able to write reviews and choose star ratings for your titles and post them on the book page.

We want to give KWL authors the opportunity to begin collecting reviews for their titles before the feature goes live!

Here’s how: 

That’s it! You can use this Kobo Reviews link to collect as many reviews as you want.

You may notice that the page does not list every one of your books.  The catalog of books represents a cache that might not always have the most recently added titles – but it is updated on a continual basis, and if a title doesn’t appear now, it might appear in a few days.

Go ahead and post your Kobo Reviews link to social media, include it in your newsletter, and feature it on your website.

The more reviews you gather, the more customers will notice your title. So, get the word out!

2014 Writers and Illustrators 30th Annual Awards Ceremony

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Kobo Writing Life’s Director, Mark Lefebvre presenting a talk on the future of publishing

Each year the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests welcome a dozen talented new writers and illustrators into the field as published professionals. And countless others have been inspired to keep writing, keep creating, keep entering and keep dreaming their creative visions.

Kobo Writing Life’s Director, Mark Lefebvre was there presenting a talk on the future of publishing (which appears at approximately 43 minutes into the video), and he also surprised the winners with their very own Kobo Aura HD device! To see the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEhjD20RaM

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Writers and Illustrators of the Future are the most enduring and influential contests in the history of science fiction and fantasy.

Winners from the contest year October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 attended  the 30th Annual Awards Ceremony and a series of workshops with internationally renowned science fiction, fantasy and horror writers in Hollywood at Author Services, Inc. The winning stories, along with accompanying illustrations, are published in an annual anthology with wide distribution to bookstores nationwide and abroad. For many, this is just the first step in a long and successful career.

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future – Volume 30

Celebrate new writers, new winners, new worlds.

This is your escape into fantastic realms of the human mind lurking just beyond your imagination… and reaching deep into your wildest dreams.

View the recently released L. Ron Hubbard – Volume 30.

Past winners of the Writers of the Future Contest have gone on to publish well over 700 novels and 3000 short stories; they have become international bestsellers and have won the most prestigious accolades in the field—the Hugo, the Nebula, the John W. Campbell, the Bram Stoker, and the Locus Award—and even mainstream literary awards such as the National Book Award, the Newbery and the Pushcart Prize. The Illustrators of the Future winners have gone on to publish millions of illustrations in the field.

Click here to see all the previous Writer’s of the Future anthologies:

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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