99 Authors, 99 Books, 99 Cents

This promotional contains some really great books by both well known authors and some lessor so (like me). For anyone looking to add a few more worthy titles to their holiday reading, or anyone looking for some ebook gift ideas for other readers they know, have a look around: http://buymereadme.com/ (feel free to spread the word!) The … Read more 99 Authors, 99 Books, 99 Cents

Kobo Books: Kitten or Lion?

Kobo's Top 50 RankingsI’ve tracked www.Kobobooks.com for five weeks now, keeping my eye on the following things:

  • rankings
  • recommending reading lists
  • search and sort capabilities
  • customer service
  • the writing life platform
  • the app, the eReader, etc.

My intent has been to deduce whether Kobo seems to understand what it will take to become a serious player in the eBook retail universe currently dominated almost exclusively by Amazon and their Kindle store. My perspective is unabashedly that of an indie author.

I’ll do my best to breakdown each of the above bullet points in a series of four posts. I’ll provide my observations/data and give my personal opinion whether Kobo is currently taking a kitten stance, or lion. Today we’ll deal with Kobo’s rankings.

The Results: Rankings

Kobo appears to have two sets of connected rankings. From any product page consumers are given rankings for said product for each of the product’s listed genres (the Writing Life platform allows publishers to select up to three). These rankings are slow to change and only reflect the general rank rather than exact.

By clicking on the actual genre, Men’s Adventure in this case, you will be directed to the Men’s Adventure genre list sorted according to “Best Sellers” (you can also sort by price, rating and title). If a product is rated #83 on the product page this indicates that the product will be specifically ranked somewhere below #83 and above whatever the next selected breakpoint may be (possibly somewhere around #120). Once the product slips below #120 it would then be ranked #120 on the product page.

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My Plan for Kobo Books

Kobo eReader device w/wifiWhat the world needs now is an online version of the neighborhood book store, for eBooks. Kobo, I say it should be you.

It appears inevitable that the Department of Justice will soon dish out a top-rope body slam to the world of traditional publishing. For those who haven’t been following the matter like so much O.J. carnivality let me explain. No, there’s no time. I’ll sum up. “Colluding” major publishers will no longer be able to dictate the price of eBooks. Thus online retailers (ie. Amazon) will be able to affectively sell major titles for whatever price they want (without suffering a year end loss).

Bad News for Readers

Alas, I am feared this heralds bad news for both writers like me and readers like you. “How do you figure?” you might ask. Well, gentle reader, even though eBook prices on some of the most popular titles will most certainly fall (good for readers) the end result of this could be a loss of diversity for the written word (bad for readers unless you only want to read vampire romance and legal thrillers).

Crap man, and just when the eBook revolution was cracking the market open for all sorts of original (some terrible, some terrific) creations of fiction. Now it appears inevitable that lower prices on major titles will squeeze indie authors out of a job. If The Hunger Games and the latest Tom Clancy thriller are available at $7.99 (or less) how many readers will continue to take risks on unknown authors for $4.99?

Enter Kobo Books (or any other eBook retailer with the gonads to step up).

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