Watch Kevin Costner as he listens to a mysterious voice beckon, "Build it, and he will come."
While this worked for Ray (Kevin's character) in Field of Dreams, it no longer works in business.
If you build a better mousetrap, people won't beat a path to your door. They will never find you!
Should We Just Toss in the Towel?
It took me nearly 30 months to achieve one book sale ($4.89) on the Kobo platform.
With 7 simple, easy-to-follow steps I will now show you how I...
1. Jump-started eBook sales and Royalties
2. Achieved Bestseller List Status
3. And Now Receive Consistent Monthly Income
Click "READ MORE to find out how I did it...
So How Did I Do It?
Before you do anything, start with obtaining legitimate reviews; while it is totally okay to pay for access to reviewers, NEVER pay for a positive review. Kobo will eventually find out; just Google "Amazon review crackdown". Plus it is just a shady thing to do.
Check out my upcoming post on how to obtain objective, genuine reviews.
Aim for 2-5 reviews, since you don't need that many to get started on Kobo; this is very different on Amazon because there is so much more competition. Ask people you know for a genuine, objective review.
And if you are worried about 1, 2, or 3 star reviews, don't fret. We all need those for two reasons.
- It gives us feedback to hone our writing craft.
- It legitimizes our 4 and 5 star reviews. Research has shown that having good and bad reviews helps people feel better about our purchasing books. Most products aren't loved by EVERYONE.
Kobo allows you to choose 3 of these, so pick wisely!
This takes a bit of trial and error, since there is a way to understand roughly how much competition there is in a particular book category (total number of books listed at the top of each category page).
But it is harder to gauge how many sales you need to reach the top 10 or 20 list of best sellers in that particular sub-category.
Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to pick the highest level (main) category for your genre, since there is likely high competition to achieve top 10 or 20 bestseller, and even if you reach that level, it is hard to maintain that.
Try to select a sub-category or sub-sub-category or even further down. But find a balance between too high and too low. If you go too low, then there aren't enough sales and demand to generate royalties.
Check out the sub-sub-categories I chose for two of my books below...
WARNING: Do NOT select categories that don't align closely with your book's genre just to try to game the system. This will tick off your readers as they will sense a "bait and switch" and may cause Kobo to remove your book from their online store.
I submitted my book Why Leadership Sucks for potential inclusion in late 2014, and it was selected by the Kobo team.
Here is the form to fill out. https://vrcoordinator.wufoo.com/forms/tell-us-about-your-free-titles/
I was successful in my book Why Leadership Sucks being featured on the Free eBook section of Kobo, but not for Becoming Generation Flux. Kobo said no to offering Becoming Generation Flux on their Free eBook page, but it didn't hurt to try.
Don't get discouraged if at first you don't succeed. Just keep trying.
As a result, Why Leadership Sucks generated 215 Free downloads, but sadly that translated into only one paid sale. A paltry $4.89 which isn't enough to meet the minimum royalties for payment from Kobo.
But wait, there's more to the story...
Kobo has a section on their website dedicated to discovering new and upcoming authors.
I was also rejected for this, but this led to Kobo asking me to partner with them on their Kobo Super Points program which finally helped create a steady stream of weekly book sales.
I love this quote from the movie Galaxy Quest!
Watch this clip and laugh...
They key word there is "seemed" to fail.
My breakthrough happened after I persevered just a bit more than most would have.
I suspect that one of the reasons I was selected for the Kobo Super Points program with Becoming Generation Flux is that I had already been chosen for a free eBook feature with Why Leadership Sucks.
So Kobo wanted to change it up...and that opportunity might not have happened if I had given up earlier.
What is Kobo Super Points?
My first contact with the Kobo team was with the cordial Shayna Krishnasamy; I was stoked to get to work with Kobo on their new Super Points program!
Kobo Super Points Loyalty Program Delayed
I was disappointed with the delay but still pumped about being part of this new, pilot program.
$97 in Royalties in Just 2 Months and Counting...
While $97 might not pay for much, it is tons more than I had after nearly 3 years of no sales or royalties.
Plus, now that I got sales jump-started and my titles showing up on Kobo bestseller lists, it should sustain itself and turn into a consistent monthly income which is my goal with any new project.
I am also getting more exposure for my books and personal brand in 5 countries, not just the US.
Bestseller Status Achieved
Sales for Why Leadership Sucks which is much more popular on Amazon and Audible in terms of sales have not gained as much traction from it being available as a free eBook even after 215 downloads.
- 17 sales and $83.13 for Becoming Generation Flux
- 3 sales and $14.67 for Why Leadership Sucks
Advantage Kobo Super Points and Becoming Generation Flux!
I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on my Kobo book marketing case study and what success or failure you have had on the Kobo platform. Please leave comments below...