Kobo? So Far, It’s a Major Fail for This Author

I hate it when I whine. But I’m seriously pissed off.

At Kobo.

Several people have recommended them as a distributor. They’ve got a hot new publishing tool, and independent authors should go NOW and upload their books. If you’re not selling on Kobo, you’re missing out on hundreds of sales!

So I read all about it and reviewed post from several authors who recommended it.

I spent a day figuring out how to format Shipbuilder for epub. I even spent $250 for ISBNs, so Shipbuilder would have its own number for Kobo distribution. It was cheaper to buy ten numbers, and I figured I could use them for other books. I wasn’t happy about it, but I did it.

Then I uploaded Shipbuilder to Kobo. It’s on their site, under science fiction and historical romance.

And you will never be able to find it.

Like I said, I’m pissed.

If you search by title, because you’ve heard of this most awesome book and you must have it on your Kobo reader right now…. I’m sorry to tell you that you will never find it.

Go try. Go over to http://www.kobobooks.com/ and type the title into their search bar.

I’ll wait.


Nada? Imagine that.

What if you don’t know the title, you just want to find a nice time travel romance to read? Or maybe a time travel about Titanic? Or perhaps you’re looking for a touching historical love story?

You won’t find Shipbuilder.

Customer service tells me that “We are aware that there are certain design flaws in our search functionality at present. Our development team is looking at ways to improve the code so that searching for books on the Kobo website becomes far more intuitive for our users. We apologise for the inconvenience of it being so hard to track down your book by its title. I will pass on information about your case to our team to aid their work.”

They further state that “we would recommend trying to use as many keywords in your synopsis as possible that might make it easier for users to track down this content on our system.”

Well, my synopsis has all the keywords I can think of: time travel, Titanic, Edwardian, early 20th century, love affair, Belfast, Ireland… I don’t know – what keywords would you search under?

Anyway, none of them bring up my book.

It does come up if you search under my name. So if you know any Kobo readers, tell them my name. Over and over again, please.


7 thoughts on “Kobo? So Far, It’s a Major Fail for This Author”

  1. I’d jokingly say you got to love design flaws, but when that flaw is not in our favor, not exactly something to take very easily. Perhaps they’ll have it fixed before you know it. And perhaps there are lots of people that know our name who’ll work on keeping Kobo from being a total fail.

  2. I’ve put off publishing with Kobo because there have been so many complaints. Not just about the search engine, but books being hung up in processing for days or even weeks, formatting being screwed up . . . As long as uploading is a crap shoot, and other problems keep ticking people off, Kobo is only hurting itself. It isn’t always the best idea to be an early adopter.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this. I too was considering Kobo until I got signed, and still spoke to my publisher about it. But these kinds of flaws will keep me away. Thanks for the heads up, but sorry you paid such a price for the experience.

  4. I read a lot of SF on my Kobo, and “Shipbuilders” was presented to me automatically by Kobo as “books you may like to read”. I’d never heard of the author before. The fact that I read it in just 2 days, finishing it at 2 A.M. this morning (that’s the first 2 A.M. – we had two of them last night because the clocks went back), shows how much I enjoyed it. So here I am on this web site – and I will be buying “Bridgebuilders” just as soon as I can find it on Kobo!

    1. Wow, this is great news! It’s good to know the system is working better, and I’m delighted you enjoyed the book. I’m working on getting Bridgebuilders up there this week.

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