by Katie Cross

When I decided to go off KDP Select my sales pretty much plummeted and took my ego with it. Just kidding. No I’m not. #sorrynotsorry 

Some days I would see (with KU borrows) up to 5 sales per day. (In previous weeks there had been up to 5-7 per day. It may not seem like much, but for an indie, it’s pretty awesome/typical.) I left KDP Select the 1st or 2nd of April.

Here’s a chart to show you the change that happened in my sales on Amazon once I left. (This is for my YA fantasy novels Miss Mabel’s School for Girls and Antebellum AwakeningThe green line is my free novella The Isadora’s Interviews.)


As you can see, I had up to 4 day stretches without any sales or activity. (It gets uglier as April goes on).

I was determined to find a way to increase sales without Amazon.

I couldn’t believe that, as an indie, I couldn’t use other platforms to find readers. Amazon definitely marketed my book more when I was exclusive, and I worried what pulling away from that would mean. But not so worried that I wanted to stay. 

I googled it and looked into different methods, but didn’t really find anything that I could wrap my head around.

Enter Kobo Writing Life.

I met Mark Lefebvre, the Director of KWL, at a conference. I pulled him off to the side and grilled him for about 45 minutes about how Kobo can do for me what Amazon was (at the time) doing. IE- selling my books.

(side note: Here’s a great post on Ebook Publishing on Kobo that he did on The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn.)

Know what he said?

He said, “Don’t go through Smashwords. Upload directly through Kobo Writing Life. We can get you promo opportunities that way. If you upload directly, I will see it.”

So I said, “Okay. I’ll try anything.”

The Results of Directly Uploading to Kobo

God bless Smashwords, but using them has been a bit of a nightmares so it didn’t take too much convincing to get me on Kobo Writing Life. I pulled my books from Kobo through Smashwords and waited.

The moment Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was off KDP Select (as in the very day) I had it uploaded on Kobo to get it through the system. Mark hooked me up and shortly afterwards we had MMSFG on Kobo Next. 

kobo next

To say I was excited for the visibility is an understatement. Note: you don’t have to have an “in” to get on Kobo Next. Mark just helped me out because I networked with him and because he’s awesome. I thought this would give me a huge boost once I got on Kobo and increase my sales.

My Sales On Kobo

Drumroll please . . .


As you can see . . . I sold 2 copies of MMSFG on April 14th and gave away ~3 free copies of TII while listed on Kobo Next.

Thaz it.

After a frustrating week or two of no movement, I emailed Mark, and he said, “Calm down, padawan. Be patient. It takes time.” So I took a deep breath, relaxed, and went on my way.

Then this happened:


The quick demographics of my sales (5/13-5/31)on Kobo:

dashboard globe

Pretty awesome that I can see where my books are going. Even more awesome? I’m finally in a strong Canadian market. (Love you guys up north!)

Want to know how that sudden spike in sales happened? Read on.

Promo Opportunities at Kobo

Mark helped me get on Kobo Next, which didn’t work out for me the way it has for others. (And that’s fine. It’s life. We all skid our knees. I’ve moved on.) But then (because I’m enrolled in KWL) I got an email asking if I wanted to be involved in a 35% off promotion. Not from Mark, as an aside.

Duh. Of course I signed up. Who cares about decreased royalties? I want visibility and presence. Amazon never gave me an option like this. I’ve had other offers from Kobo since this one, for the record.

While my sales were still averaging 1-2 per day on Amazon, that doesn’t really matter as much now because I’m starting to see sales on Kobo. And I’m not stuck on JUST Amazon with nothing else to try.

Is 2-3 per day on Kobo a big deal? Not necessarily. It certainly isn’t 50-150 per day the way some authors do.

But it’s still awesome.

Because that means people are getting the book. I’ve embraced the fact that being an indie author takes time, and selling up to 17 books in one day on a platform outside Amazon? #love.

About the Author:


Katie Cross loves cookies, weight lifting, and talking about her indie author experience.

Visit her website KCrossWriting to see more posts on analytics and statistics of her journey. When she’s not running in the mountains with her two vizslas, she’s writing YA fantasy stories about dragons, castles, magic, and kick !@#*($ females who don’t need a man to save them.


You can find Katie:

On her writing website: www.kcrosswriting.com

On Twitter: @kcrosswriting

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiecrosswriting

And on her official book website: www.missmabels.com

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