Koboed Symmetry

Is “to Kobo” even a verb? Well, it is now because I’m a writer and I just wrote it. (It’s one of the perks of the job, you know!)

What this means is that my Young Adult novel Silent Symmetry is now available in the Kobo online store here: bit.ly/SilentSymmetryKB. Kobo is a very popular eReader in Canada and other countries, so I’m looking forward to seeing where sales originate. Speaking of which, I received this cutesy email from Kobo yesterday afternoon:

Kobo email

Of course it wasn’t my first book sale, but it was my first on Kobo, so I probably will remember it until I get super senile. And thanks to their beautiful, user-friendly dashboard I can even see that the sale came from… Canada! This isn’t exactly NSA Prism levels of tracking, but it’s a step beyond Amazon’s rather dry KDP reports.

So self-publishing on the Kobo platform has gone about as smoothly as it did on Amazon. I wish I could say the same for Apple. The only positive I took from yesterday’s teeth-grinding experience uploading my book to the iBookstore was the speedy email response to a support question I had. But… why, oh why does Apple insist that writers download Mac-only software to upload a book, while Amazon and Kobo (and I think Barnes & Noble) use a simple, intuitive browser interface? Not only did I have to co-opt my cover designer’s sleek and lovely Macbook Air for several hours, but the process itself was fraught with issues that didn’t seem to come up when I published for Kindle and Kobo. (Example 1: Instead of simply writing my own genres or keywords, I had to go through a series of incredibly long drop-down menus of pre-approved labels. Example 2: Specifying that the book is for sale worldwide was clunky at best. Example 3: Several other steps.)

The upside of my struggle to get Silent Symmetry into the iBookstore was that I started drinking wine at 5 pm. The downside was pretty much the entire experience, including the fact that I don’t really know whether my efforts were successful. Steve Jobs used to say when presenting a new iDevice: “It just works.” Honestly, that’s what I would say about self-publishing on Amazon and Kobo. As for Apple, “It just about worked. I think.”

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