Last month, Kobo shared their annual readership report! For those curious, the readership report highlights information on the reading habits of readers from across Canada and offers some insights into the way people read. Check out reports from years previous here:

We wanted to highlight some pertinent points from the report for all of you authors working with us at Kobo Writing Life who might find it helpful when it comes to your self-publishing business – especially if you are big in the Canadian market!

Highlights from the 2022 Rakuten Kobo Book Report:

The following are observations from Michael Tamblyn, Rakuten Kobo CEO:

On the current state of reading:

“The last couple of years have been a wild ride for both readers and booksellers. In 2022, COVID restrictions eased, readers were able to leave the house, and Kobo – as a global digital bookseller – has witnessed some interesting shifts and trends in reading behaviours around the world.”

On Canadian reading trends:

“When it comes to our Canadian readers, we continue to see a love for local and Canadian authors and stories, a growing interest in self-published authors, a resurgence in travel-related reading and a bittersweet nostalgic trend for reading about the monarchy following the passing of the Queen. We’re excited to see what plot twists 2023 has in store.”

And, as many of you may know, Kobo Writing Life celebrated its 10th birthday this year. That’s ten years of writing, hundreds of hours of reading, and thousands of self-published titles, awesome indie authors, and so much more. Here’s our highlight in the report:

Kobo Writing Life celebrates its 10th birthday:

Kobo’s self-publishing platform, Kobo Writing Life (KWL), celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Since its inception in 2012, KWL has helped independent authors reach audiences globally through Kobo’s digital bookstore. Self-publishing has drastically grown in popularity over the last decade and represents one of the largest publishers in Kobo’s catalogue. In many English-speaking markets, one in five books sold by Kobo is a KWL title and one in four self-published generally. “Through KWL, we are able to give voice to authors who might not have made it through the gatekeepers of traditional publishing houses,” said Michael Tamblyn, CEO, Rakuten Kobo. “But once they reach Kobo’s community of readers, they find new audiences all over the world. Having a strong self-publishing catalogue for readers who read broadly, across a range of genres, and being able to help writers reach new audiences globally are points of pride for us.”

Note the numbers – one in five books sold by Kobo is a KWL title, and one in four is self-published in general. Wow! We know our authors are powerhouses, but it’s always exciting when these numbers emerge. There is no doubt that readers are just as interested in the works of indie authors, hybrid authors, and smaller publishers as they are in the publications put out by the big names.

It’s important to pay attention to yearly trends in readership not just as a reader, but an author, too. Knowing what people are interested in in the here and now, such as subject matter, genre, book length, or even cover design, can really help you structure your plans for the coming year, as these trends will surely carry over as new ones emerge.

Be sure to check out the whole article to learn more about how Canadians read!

And, check out these previous blog posts on engaging with your readers, learning more about your readership, and what you can do to garner more readers overall:

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