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Kobo Writing Life — first try – fail

The Kobo thread on Kindleboards has had so many complaints about problems that I decided to wait until maybe the major problems were worked out. So I put a toe in the water a few days ago and got stung. The two most frequently mentioned problems still exist. First, the process of inputting your info and uploading is very, very simple. It went like a charm. But it took two days before the book was actually published. To be fair, the guide warns that it can take up to 72 hours for publication, but unless someone is personally vetting every single book, I don’t see why such a delay is necessary. Smashwords publishes immediately. Amazon usually publishes within a hour or so.

Then I looked at my sample and found that the formatting had been screwed up, the second common problem mentioned on the board. Everything I had centered had been moved to the left margin. Paragraphs had lost their indents and had been changed to block format. I know that fixes were discussed, but I’ll have to go back to the discussion to see what they were. I uploaded the book as an epub, so, even though Kobo accepts epubs, that may have been the problem. I’ll try a .doc file next time — one of these days.

One thing that’s built into the system and can handicap publishers — you can’t add any tags. Complaints about searching are another big topic, and the lack of tags is just one more way to make sure searches are going to be frustrating.

I imagine I’ll eventually get all my books up on Kobo, but I won’t be holding my breath for sales.

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5 Comments

  1. It sounds like a nightmare of the first order, Catana, and I applaud you bravery. Good luck with it. The .doc might do the trick; I remember Mark Coker saying you can’t even use docx with SW’s meatgrinder.

    • Kobo supposedly accepts several file types, but I haven’t checked yet to see which ones were giving other people trouble. Anyway, I don’t have time for it now. I agreed to beta Ed’s newest book and he sent it to me today. Overload! Overload!

  2. tobiasosir

     /  September 10, 2012

    I recently uploaded a “test” book to see how it worked out before submitting my first actual ‘intended for sale’ work…it was smooth, but I had the same issues with formatting. I uploaded it in epub as well; I’ll try a .doc file and see how that works. I wasn’t aware that this was a larger issue, I thought it was me!

    • Nope, not you, Tobias. My guess is that the epub formatting problems may vary according to which conversion app you choose. I’ve used different ones, and they come out with different results. The same epub file will look fine in one reader and terrible in another.

  3. tobiasosir

     /  September 10, 2012

    Hmm, something to look further into then. Come to think of it, the “preview” file they offered looked fine in Adobe Digital Editions and Calibre, but was messed up on the Kobo device.

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