By Elyse Daniels, Global Audiobooks Merchandiser
*If you don’t yet have access to the Kobo Promotions tool and your titles are uploaded directly through KWL, email us at email@example.com and we can set it up for you!
So you’ve been rejected. Story of an author’s life, am I right? Maybe you’d like to know why?
You can view the rejection reason by navigating to the Promotions tab (see image) . . .
. . . then clicking on the Declined section (see image)
. . . and then clicking on the submission title you’re inquiring about (see image)
If you don’t see a rejection reason it’s likely that your title was declined due to an overwhelming number of submissions. This is by far the most common reason that we decline titles for a promotion.
Top Reasons For Rejection
1) Book Cover. The cover is the first thing a customer sees, so it is the first thing that the merchandiser considers when selecting books for promotions. If your cover is not very professional, or maybe just isn’t up to standard with the other books being included in the sale, it is less likely to be selected. You may be thinking that you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, you should judge it by the content, but just remember that fewer people are going to click through to the content if they’re not intrigued by the cover.
2) No Promo Price Offered. Come on guys! They are called “promotions”, so if a discounted price is requested, you’ll be rejected if you submit your book at its regular price (even if the regular price is below the sale maximum price).
3) Your Title Was Included in a Recent Sale. We try to mix up the titles that are included in each sale, so that Kobo readers aren’t seeing the same titles on promotion all of the time. For this reason, sometimes titles will be rejected if they were just included in a similar sale.
4) Optimized Pricing. If your promo price is not an optimal price, then it is unlikely that it will be selected for a sale. We consider optimal pricing, prices that end in $X.X9, preferably X.99.
5) Categorization Error. If your book is not categorized correctly, then we will not include it in a promotion. Please double check that you’ve entered the correct genres/categories in your metadata before submitting your titles to promotions.
6) Not a New Release. We are always looking to promote recently released books, so that we can offer Kobo readers fresh deals. It’s kind of like the “Your Title Was Included in a Recent Sale” reason, in the sense that we don’t want to be including the same group of books in every single sale.
7) Too Racy. This one is pretty self explanatory. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to promote racy books.
8) Competition. We receive a high number of submissions for each promotion we run, so competition is fierce! Make sure you’re not making any of the above mentioned mistakes, so that you aren’t ruled out early.
After abandoning the KWL team, Elyse Daniels joined the Kobo Merchandising team on a crusade to help push self-published content. She is KWL’s favourite merchandiser and is in charge of all things audio.
Great article, Elyse! (And have to love your profile pic that accompanies it)
Does the fact that the Audiobook merchandiser has written a KWL article mean that there might be audio-specific promotions coming soon for indie authors? (Particularly since I noticed that my Findaway Voices titles are now appearing in Kobo’s audio catalog)
We do definitely want to give indie audio titles visibility on the store. Right now, Elyse considers all Findaway titles for inclusion in promotions. We will be sure to keep you posted!
That’s fantastic to hear, Joni! Especially since I have 4 titles coming to Kobo via Findaway already! 🙂 Thank you!
Good explanation of your company policy.
However, I do have one thought.
You say: “If you don’t see a rejection reason, this is likely because there is no particular reason your title was declined. This happens mostly when we get way too many submissions to accommodate.”
Not to split hairs, but if the submission is rejected because you got too many submissions, then that is the “particular reason your title was declined.”
How difficult would it be for you to show the respect of stating that?
Your policy now is sending the message “We might decline your submission on a personal whim, without having any particular reason. We just didn’t like it, and we are not going to tell you why.”
I don’t believe that is your policy.
But I believe that your messaging needs some work.
I hope this doesn’t upset you. I’m just trying to be helpful.
I appreciate the feedback. As we prepare to take the promo tool out of beta mode and open it to more authors, this is something we will be examining and adjusting. In the meantime, I agree that this article could be more clear and have updated it accordingly.
Thanks again for your comments,
Thank you for the great article, Elyse. I see that apart from a few obvious things a likely cause for rejection in a promotion comes down cover, in fact maybe it is a main reason, after that too many applications. Assuming a book hasn’t been accepted before, if there are too many applications is it a random process or does it often come back to cover again?
Being new and having 3 declined and one accepted I am not sure if this is completely normal or I should be concerned for some reason. I have also read the excellent article by Shayna on covers and agree with the over-riding sentiments. All my covers are professionally designed and I believe are sufficiently genre specific. I do feel a little in the dark and may have this all wrong, but I would be concerned if there is a low threshold for rejecting covers that might then become rather subjective and catch a lot of us in the net.