Frequently Asked Questions

We thought it might be helpful to answer some questions that our help-desk gets on the regular. Here are the most common questions we get.

GENERAL INQUIRIES

How do I distribute my content through Kobo?

It’s simple. Once you sign up for Kobo Writing Life you can download and review our Writing Life User Guide which offers details about the various steps in your publishing journey. But, in a nutshell, here’s the process:

  • Accept the Terms of (You only need to do this once)
  • Enter eBook information (Title, Author Name, Description, Category, ), upload your cover, and upload either your ePub file or your manuscript for free conversion to ePub format.
  • Indicate whether you want to apply Digital Rights Management (DRM).
  • Set the territory and pricing
  • Publish your eBook

What is the cost to distribute my eBook?

Nothing! Kobo does not charge a fee for distributing your eBooks. Kobo will also convert your manuscript to the ePub standard format entirely for free and with no strings attached.

Please see the payment section for details on royalties.

How do I protect my content?

Kobo takes a number of steps to prevent your content from being copied, saved, distributed and reproduced. We offer our vendors the option to enable Digital Rights Management (DRM) on all of their titles.

Who owns the rights to my books?

You do! In fact, we require that you own the digital rights to the content you wish to provide to us. If you only own the digital rights to your content in certain territories, you can make that available for sale using our flexible territorial rights management tool within Kobo Writing Life’s easy DIY portal.

PAYMENT, TAXES, AND SALES FIGURES

How do I get paid?

Kobo offers a standard Independent Publisher Program contract through Kobo Writing Life. You can receive royalty payments from Kobo via EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) directly in to your bank account. Authors are paid 45 days after the end of each monthly period provided they have met a minimum threshold of $50 USD.

  • If your content has not generated the minimum threshold listed above, we will provide you with payment every 6 months
  • Sales from your books in all countries are amalgamated to reach the threshold listed above

What will my royalties be?

You will receive 70% of the list price for the book (the price the customer pays not including taxes) for each copy of the book that is sold, provided it adheres to the following pricing rules:

  • greater than or equal to $2.99 USD in the US,
  • greater than or equal to £1.99 GBP in the UK,
  • greater than or equal to $2.99 CAD in Canada,
  • greater than or equal to $2.99 AUD in Australia,
  • greater than or equal to €1.99 EUR in the European Union,
  • greater than or equal to $2.99 NZD in New Zealand,
  • greater than or equal to $15.99 HKD in Hong Kong,
  • greater than or equal to ¥299JPY in Japan,

For original works priced below this threshold, you will receive 45% of the list price.

For books that are a part of the public domain, you will receive 20% of the list price.

How do I change the currency I am paid in?

  1. Please make sure that you set an “override” price in your new currency for each of your books. When you change your default currency, you need to ensure that the prices in that currency are set manually, using the “override” price option, and are not being automatically converted from a different currency.

To override a price, go to the “eBooks” tab in your KWL account, select the book in question, go to the “Set the Price” step, and then set the switch in the “Override Price” column to a checkmark. Enter your price and save.

  1. Email writinglife@kobo.com to ask that we change your default payment currency. Please remember to also indicate the email address associated with your Kobo Writing Life account.

I can’t find my bank branch. How do I enter my banking information?

Make sure that you are entering the correct routing number into the “SWIFT / Routing Number / IBAN” field on the Payment Information page. This varies based on your currency of payment.

  • CAD: 9-digit transit code (begins with 0, then 3-digit bank number, then 5-digit branch code)
  • USD: 9-digit ABA for an ACH transfer
  • EUR: IBAN
  • GBP: IBAN or 6-digit Sort Code
  • AUD: 6-digit BSB code
  • NZD: 6-digit beneficiary bank code
  • HKD: 6-digit Hong Kong Clearing Code
  • JPY: 8 to 11-digit SWIFT code

Why doesn’t my payment match my dashboard?

The dashboard is a simple and high level overview of estimated earnings, which currently does not take into account coupon codes, purchasing discounts, refunds, or any other variations that might have occurred at the transaction level. In contrast, however, the monthly sales reports that authors receive by email from our Finance department are accurate and match the payments that you receive.

Note that if you participate in a promotion that provides discounting (ex: coupon codes), you will receive a credit memo from our Finance department in addition to the monthly sales report. In this case, the payment you receive will then match the sales report total minus the credit memo total.

How do I find my tax forms?

Our Finance Team does not send out any reports for tax purposes other than the monthly sales reports that are emailed out to our authors. If you have not received these sales reports, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at writinglife@kobo.com.

Do I need an Individual Taxpayer Identifier Number (ITIN)?

Nope! Kobo is a Canadian company. You do not need an ITIN and we do not withhold taxes on your sales.

What is Kobo’s EIN?

Kobo is a Canadian company and does not have an EIN. If you are unsure as to how to declare your eBook sales on your taxes, it is advised that you consult your accountant.

 

If you have any questions at all, please email writinglife@kobo.com

Happy writing!

15 comments

  • Thanks for the info! I will keep this for future reference.

  • Got a question regarding pre-order sales reports. I don’t see where I can get that raw data on the dashboard. Thanks.

  • The sales with Kobo are just not happening, even after paid promotions via facebook. The book was buried from the word go, and when I search it, it comes up with educational phyc books, not with other books under Romance. Can I also sell my ebook with Apple and Amazon? Can I have my Kobo writing life account linked to Amazon and Apple?

    • Kobo Writing Life

      Hi Melanie, I can’t seem to find a KWL account with this name. We’re happy to help and answer any questions you have. Can you please email writinglife@kobo.com with the email address you use to log into your Kobo Writing Life account? Thanks!

  • Hi !
    Last year i published 3 ebooks, who are still alive and kicking here at the Kobo ranking. But at that time i had to use Smashwords (when i tried to published through KWL, a bug or something blocked every attempt to fill the banking info needed. I was in a hurry, so i just left it for later.)
    Is there any way to “transfer” thoses ebooks to kobo without loosing ranking and readers vote ?

    (sorry for my english, i’m french !)
    K.
    PS : any chance that one day, Kobo agreed to send the report of selling for free ebooks to the “smashwords like” associates ? It’s really sad not to be able have this info on our free ebook.

    • Kobo Writing Life

      Hi, unfortunately we can’t transfer the rankings as you’re creating a new book entry. If you’re having trouble entering your banking information, please email writinglife@kobo.com and our team will add the information for you.

      • Thanks for the quick answer. It’s ok for the bank issue, i never knew what was blocking at that time, but since then i was able to fill the form without any other bug.
        Very very sad to learn that 😦 but it’s ok, i have plenty of other books to write and to publish 🙂

  • Excellent article . I was fascinated by the points , Does anyone know where I can get access to a template a form copy to complete ?

  • Signed up last year, resident in Nigeria. Now that the list of countries and currencies excludes Africa, I wonder how I am to be paid royalties. This is critical, precisely why I am yet to upload my manuscript. Advice how to proceed.

  • Please advise regarding the payment details, as have entered the SWIFT code of the bank, but the bank is not appearing in the list. As per our bank norms that is the correct code. This is the last step left before we can start selling. Please guide. Our company is based in India.

  • Do you guys have any guidelines on how to price for different countries? I was listening to a podcast with Mark Lefebvre and understood that for India, the cost of an ebook would have to be lower. Do you have any guidance on how to price in the other markets?

    • Great question on pricing. We’re working on gathering as much information as we can on various global markets and will continue to add them to this website as they come to us. Some of our previous articles on pricing appear here: https://kobowritinglife.com/tag/pricing/

      In a nutshell, we strongly recommend using point points that end in .99 in US, CA, AU, NZ (and using .49 or .99 in UK and EU)
      Quick thumbnail version of things we’ve seen that work: (and these are based on starting with USD pricing, since that’s the most common “local” price for most of our KWL authors)
      Price point in CAD, AUD, NZD can usually be about the same (as the currency values for these countries are typically near one another) – and usually $1.00 higher than the USD price (sometimes more based on whatever value you’re starting with.
      In the UK you should consider rounding down in your pricing, since most major publishers are already pricing low in GBP. IE, $1.00 or more lower than your USD price
      In India, to get any traction you’ll likely want to price as low as possible (49.99 or 99.99) since print books in that market are extremely cheap (not to mention you can buy a smart phone in India for $5)

      Of course, these are GENERIC pricing advice tidbits that don’t at all consider genre or other important elements that might be unique to particular titles and not apply to everyone (sorry, there’s no ONE ANSWER for all books) – a great way to check on what’s a good price for your books are to use the little COUNTRY FLAGs that appear at the top of Kobo’s website, then look at the bestselling titles in your categories and find a price that lines up somewhere in the middle of the price range for the top ten. That’s likely a great place to start.

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