I’ve uploaded all my books to the Canadian outfit Kobo.
Up until now I was exclusive to Amazon. Although I offered my books in epub-format on this site, I thought it would be better to offer them through a major ebook-outlet as well.
Kobo has recently made a program available for independent authors to upload their books in a very simple, publisher-friendly way. Since I do my own formatting in epub, I know exactly what the reader is getting.
Though it was, and is, possible to sell epub-books through Smashwords, I was never fond of their conversion program, called endearingly the Meatgrinder. And grind is what it basically does. Smashwords forces you to deliver bland Microsoft Word files to them, stripped of all but the most basic formatting. Although my OS is Linux, this in itself was no biggie as OpenOffice and a slew of other Linux wordprocessors can easily convert to doc. Bizarre is that Smashwords works with Linux as well, and the first thing the Meatgrinder does is convert the MS-Word file to the open format used by most Linux wordprocessors. It then proceeds to produce the different formats for all their outlets. The result is a rather pedestrian epub-book with little or no pizazz. Acceptable until recently, but no longer, in my opinion.
There was some talk about Smashwords allowing authors to upload epub-files. I asked Mark Coker, the man behind Smashwords, if there was any news — a date, maybe — when this would become possible. I contacted him through Twitter days ago but I never got an answer. Meanwhile I opened an account with Kobo and uploaded seven epub-books in under thirty minutes.
Kobo is very fast and simple to use. For an independent author even faster and simpler than Amazon, let alone Smashwords. Kobo also offers better conditions to authors, more control, and daily statistics. It also lets the author decide to give away a book for free and for how long.
I have no idea how successful my books will be on Kobo but I know some readers will love being able to buy them in epub from a reputed distributor.
You can check them out here.
You can read the first twelve chapters of the first book of the Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse-series on this site. You can now also download them in epub-format for free on the Kobo site:
Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse: Beginnings.