Writing Life is the self-publishing arm of Kobo and when authors submit an ebook, it is sold across all of the various markets where Kobo sells digital content, which is most of the world. Kobo also launched an audiobook store in 2017, they sell titles on an individual basis and also have a subscription based system. You cannot play audiobooks on any of their E Ink devices, but have apps for Android and iOS. Kobo has just updated Writing Life and now allow audiobook submissions.
Independent authors can now easily upload, promote and sell their audiobooks, adjust prices or choose what countries they want to sell in through the easy to use dashboard. The roll-out is currently being beta tested and will be available to all accounts soon. Audiobook capabilities are currently available in English, and will become available for additional languages by the end of 2019.
“We always say we strive to make reading lives better, and we also work hard to make writing lives better,” says Pieter Swinkels, Chief Content Officer for Rakuten Kobo, who leads the thriving KWL business. “Our self-publishing platform is now a one-stop shop for authors selling digital content anywhere in the world — no other global service has one dashboard for the easy management of both eBook and audiobook uploads and sales.
“Currently in North America, one in four books we sell is from a self-published author — in essence, KWL is our biggest publisher. We are thrilled to be able to enable these authors to add audiobooks to their repertoire and give them yet another way to serve their fans.”
Kobo Writing Life is one of many self-publishing systems that accept audiobooks. They are competing against Audible, Findaway Voices, Draft2digital and many others.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.