A blog about writing and self publishing

Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 058 – Insights from Kobo Merchandisers

Episode 58 features an interview with Kobo Merchandisers Liz Hilborn (Manager of Merchandising) and Sarah Smith-Eivemark (Canadian Merchandiser) conducted by Mark Lefebvre, KWL Director.


Liz Hilborn with Margaret Atwood (Just another typical day in the life of a Kobo Merchandiser)

In the interview, Mark, Liz and Sarah discuss:

  • What a merchandiser is and what they do at Kobo
  • How merchandisers work with publisher sales reps to determine which books get featured in different lists such as “New and Hot”
  • A look at the daily, weekly, monthly schedule and routine that merchandisers follow
  • How merchandisers in different territories connect, collaborate, and share best practices
  • How the merchandisers work with the Vendor Managers in various countries
  • The benefit the merchandising interns have in of hearing about global publishing trends and activities during the daily merchandising team meetings
  • The preferred timelines that merchandisers need in order to plan out a promotion or feature and how that might be different in various global territories based on how much progress that country has already made in terms of digital publishing
  • The average number of books that a merchandiser might look at on any given day
  • Solid book cover design advice from a merchandiser’s perspective
  • The important role that a proper price (and a flexible price) plays from a merchandiser’s perspective
  • The pricing promotion sweet spot (anywhere between 99 cents and $4.99)
  • How not rounding your pricing up to .99 in a local territory means you’re leaving money on the table
  • Recent publishing trends that Liz and Sarah have recognized and are excited about
  • The WRONG things to do (AKA merchandiser pet peeves)

Mark then talks a bit about the Alliance of Independent Authors “Indie Author Fringe” events and why they are important and then reflects on how the Kobo Writing Life team are internal ‘sales reps’ for KWL authors at Kobo, working collaboratively with the merchandising team and always looking for new opportunities to help authors find new customers at Kobo.


Sarah Smith-Eivemark, Canadian Merchandiser at Kobo

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6 Responses to “Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 058 – Insights from Kobo Merchandisers”

  1. Jay

    Thank you for a very informative podcast. There was mention of Kobo wanting self-published authors to take advantage of submitting titles for merchandising consideration. How do we go about doing that? I don’t recall a specific contact email or how to do use the KWL dashboard for submission. Thanks!

  2. Amelia Smith

    Thanks for the informative podcast. At one point, you mentioned using different headers (?) to browse different territories’ store fronts in the Kobo store. How can I do this?

    Also, I’m still confused about how to link to the different Kobo stores. I’m in the US and can only seem to figure out how to get the US link. I’d love to do geo-linker links from my website. Are there any tools you can recommend for that?

    • Kobo Writing Life

      Hi Amelia, we don’t have any specific recommendations but you could use tools that adjust your IPP to see the store in other geos.


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