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View Full Version : I have a bestseller on Kobo...am I kind of a big deal?



randi.lee
09-17-2015, 08:12 PM
My book has reached bestseller status on Kobo, but I'm afraid to say I don't know too much about them. I know they're global--but how popular are they, does anyone know? Is it meaningful to have a bestseller on Kobo, or is it more like, "Congratulations, you've sold 12 books." ?

I know, I know, I know: it's very ignorant of me not to know more about this company, but the thought never crossed my mind to look into them...I will do so today, but thought I'd grab a few opinions from the experts in the meantime...

BenPanced
09-17-2015, 08:39 PM
Unfortunately, that doesn't mean anything. While they are legit, you can't use those numbers to generate much interest in your work in a query or further marketing/promotion. About the only "best seller" stats people working in the industry pay attention to are the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today.

randi.lee
09-17-2015, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the response, Ben! I wasn't really looking at it from a, "Hey, look at me!" sort of stand point...I'm just curious as to how many units you need to push to become a bestseller on Kobo. My publisher's not great about getting back to me with unit sales in a timely manner and I was curious, in the meantime, to know how I was doing in that regard.

InspectorFarquar
09-17-2015, 09:48 PM
You don't know how many books you've sold? How do you keep track of what you're supposed to get paid? And, if you're a "best seller," why isn't your publisher making it a priority to get back to you?

I'm confused.

randi.lee
09-17-2015, 10:38 PM
You've no reason and no right to be rude to me, IF. I've done nothing wrong to you. I was simply asking an honest question and I was doing so quite politely.

I receive quarterly royalty reports in which I find out how many books I've sold and how much I've earned. However, in the meantime, as I stated above, it would be nice to understand where I stand right now.

As far as my publisher goes, perhaps I didn't pick the best one. Perhaps I'm not a priority because my publisher is busy running a publishing company and doesn't have time to email me metrics updates every other day. Who knows.

Kylabelle
09-17-2015, 10:47 PM
I confess I didn't know what Kobo was until I googled it just now.

Since the Kobo e reader is very new in the U.S., I kind of doubt best seller status on Kobo means a heck of a lot. However, I did notice that one reviewer of the product (on Wired) believes it's a serious competitor to Kindle, so that's at least an indication it isn't a fly-by-night phenomenon.

And yeah, randi, you don't have to justify or defend your publisher to anyone.

Inspector farquar, come on. It was clear in the OP that the term "best seller" was what was being questioned, exactly. Gratuitous and thinly veiled sneering isn't very appealing.

LJD
09-17-2015, 10:58 PM
I believe Kobo started as part of Indigo and has a fairly significant market share in Canada. It used to be bigger than Kindle here; not sure if that's true anymore. The book blogs I read always have links to Kobo when they post daily deals. It's not an insignificant bookseller; however, I'm not sure what bestseller status would be...and what category are you a bestseller in? Is it by genre?

I had a book that was a bestseller on All Romance eBooks (fairly big in the romance world) but in a very specific category, I believe, and I'm guessing it just means I sold a few copies.

randi.lee
09-17-2015, 11:04 PM
Thanks Kayla--given how little I'd heard about the company, that's kind of what I suspected.

Hi LJ--thanks for the info. I'm listed as a best seller in Espionage, which I found interesting as I don't hear that category much around here :-) Perhaps it's a big genre in Canada?

Taran
09-17-2015, 11:05 PM
Kobos are pretty popular in Canada (where I believe the company started before being bought by Rakuten). I have a Kobo Touch and like it well enough. But I assume "bestseller on Kobo" in the ebook world carries about the same weight as "Canadian bestseller" in the print one.

aruna
09-17-2015, 11:48 PM
All I know is, that on kindle being a category bestseller doesn't really mean much... for a start, it depends WHiCH category. since some are easier to rise in than others. The only thing that matters is Top 100 overall... that's like the Holy Grail of ebooks, and such books DO generate interest, and have lots and lots of sales.

Being in a Kindle bestseller category does one food thing: it improves the algorithm of the book, thus improving visibility.

i don't know anything about Kobo. Sorry.

Fruitbat
09-18-2015, 12:21 AM
Of course you are a big deal, Randi. Congrats! :partyguy:

randi.lee
09-18-2015, 12:36 AM
Hi aruna--I'm actually in the top 50 in three categories on Kobo now. I'm hoping that means a little something...

Fruitbat, you made me smile :-) Thank you :-)

Fruitbat
09-18-2015, 01:20 AM
Perhaps it means that in your promo you can prominently describe your book as a bestseller and/or yourself as a bestselling author. It would be true, wouldn't it?

InspectorFarquar
09-18-2015, 03:35 AM
Inspector farquar, come on. It was clear in the OP that the term "best seller" was what was being questioned, exactly. Gratuitous and thinly veiled sneering isn't very appealing.

I agree, it is not. On the rare occasion I offer a sneer, it tends to be not veiled at all.



You've no reason and no right to be rude to me, IF

You're right. And I didn't intend to be in any way rude to you, so I guess that makes me as surprised as you.


I've done nothing wrong to you.

You hadn't.


I was simply asking an honest question and I was doing so quite politely.


Perhaps you'll be kind enough to reread my post and see I was doing the exact same thing?

I know nothing of Kobo or Amazon or how any of that works. This seemed like a good opportunity to learn something. Wrong thread for that, it would now seem.

Best wishes to you and much success to your book.

johnsolomon
09-18-2015, 03:50 AM
Congrats :) Just throwing in that Kobos are pretty well known here in the UK. They're usually on stands alongside kindles in stores like WHSmith ^^

Kylabelle
09-18-2015, 03:57 AM
You don't know how many books you've sold? How do you keep track of what your supposed to get paid? And, if you're a "best seller," why isn't your publisher making it a priority to get back to you?

I'm confused.

I apologize if I misread this, however, putting "best seller" in quotation marks and questioning the OP this closely gave the impression that you didn't believe her. If you wanted to learn about Kobo or Amazon, it might have helped things if you had stated that outright as the reason for your questions. Particularly since randi had already acknowledged she didn't know much about Kobo.

InspectorFarquar
09-18-2015, 05:05 AM
... however, putting "best seller" in quotation marks and questioning the OP this closely gave the impression that you didn't believe her ...

I can see that and it's a reasonable interpretation. I used the quotation marks because it seemed to me she was questioning her "best seller", in a "is it real?" sort of way. I was merely following suit.

But, as I said, I can see how it can be otherwise read. I apologize to the OP for my clumsiness.

Toothpaste
09-18-2015, 05:32 AM
From my understanding with such lists they are based on who bought what in how many hours. So for example if a dozen people bought your book at the same time online, even if no one else bought one all week, you could be a bestseller for that day etc. Another thing to keep in mind are the lists you are in. It's one thing to be a bestseller in all books, THAT's a big deal. But if you are a bestseller in books - Sf/Fantasy - Space Opera - Comedy that's not quite that impressive. Almost every author at some point winds up on a list like that (and yes, I do speak for myself).

This by no means is me saying that you shouldn't be excited and happy. But just know that generally the lists to be on are the ones already mentioned and top kobo overall (top kindle etc). You also need to check what region. Being a bestseller as someone else has said in Canada is far less impressive than in the USA for example.

But be happy! Screencap it! Enjoy! Just don't get excited till you see actual numbers.

C.bronco
09-18-2015, 05:37 AM
I don't think the Inspector was being rude or mean. With that said, you should always think that you are a big deal, because being at the top of any chart is a triumph. We have to remind ourselves of our accomplishments in this very capricious industry.

Re-modernist
09-18-2015, 06:45 AM
I see plenty of authors, mainly with indie houses, or self-publishing, who use high positions on internet sales charts as proof that they are best-selling--mainly Amazon, but I don't see why not Kobo or any other venue, once one decides to do this. Otherwise it'd be like quoting NYT and USA Today bestselling positions, but saying Locus and the Sunday Times don't count :D

aruna
09-18-2015, 07:28 AM
Being in a Kindle bestseller category does one food thing: it improves the algorithm of the book, thus improving visibility.

i rry.
Autocorrect, I hate you! that should be one GOOD thing, obviously! Though I shouldn't blame autocorrect for my lack of care and not rereading !

Just wanted to say that I have been in a top 10 category in Kindle for many weeks, and a good category too: Literary Fiction--Women's Fiction. That is, a subdivision of Literary Fiction, along with some really really big names and famous writers, who had dropped in the charts. But I would NEVER describe that book as a bestseller anywhere to anyone. It just sounds fraudulent, even if technically true. It sounds desperate.

My self-published book Sons Of Gods was in the Top Ten for Religion-Hinduism-Sacred Writings -Bhagavad Gita. I was really, really pleased at that, as you should be too! But I would never refer to it in public as a bestseller. It was selling like 7 copies a month at the time.

So, for me it was important, but in actual sales, not a huge deal. And I wouldn't describe it as a bestseller.

Errant Lobe
09-18-2015, 07:50 AM
Kobos are pretty popular in Canada (where I believe the company started before being bought by Rakuten). I have a Kobo Touch and like it well enough. But I assume "bestseller on Kobo" in the ebook world carries about the same weight as "Canadian bestseller" in the print one.

Kobo, like Nook did, grew out of Borders bookstore during the early days of the internet. Borders saw the success of Barnes and Noble and attempted to replicate it. When Borders folded, their electronic store was still expanding; and they realized a strong market share in lands outside of the United States. I believe that they aso changed hands several times before being owned by Rakuten.

As stated above Kobo is a major player in Canada, the UK, other places in Europe and hugely in Australia and New Zealand. I had learned years ago that you always make an effort to keep a presence on Kobo's list for the convenience of the international market which can be significant.

Ask mccardey and Helix for current information. Outside of Amazon, Kobo is a major player in other lands. Hence, the Kobo e-reader.

Bartholomew
09-18-2015, 08:25 AM
Congratulations!

randi.lee
09-18-2015, 03:41 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the information and all! I wouldn't refer to myself as a bestseller just yet, but I am very happy to see that people are taking interest in the book and that the interest remains steady: my ranks haven't changed since yesterday, and have actually seen improvement, meaning I've sold at least one copy, and--hey! That's one more reader than I had yesterday, and that's quite all right with me.

LF--thanks for your clarification. I appreciate it. I've met mild success recently and am already seeing the ramifications of it, which is to say that when I discuss said mild success--in the hopes of inspiring others that mild success can be met; I know a lot of discouraged writers out there--certain people have been getting nasty. My goal isn't to brag. I'm in no place to brag. Nowhere near it. I know that. My goal is to show that self-promotion can make a difference, even if it's a small difference. However, there are those out there who aim to attack, and they'll use any excuse to do so. I'm feeling that right now, and perhaps it's making me a little extra sensitive. So, thank you for clarifying your intent. That means a lot to me.

Debeucci
09-18-2015, 11:56 PM
Being high ranking on Kobo or Amazon honestly doesn't mean much. It's a snapshot of an hourly update. If you sell two copies of your book in Kobo within a short amount of time, your rankings shoot up. That's true with almost all lists (NYT, USA Today, etc). For hardcover, a person could make the list with as little as 2k unit sales depending on what else is coming out that week.

I've spoken with several authors regarding calling someone a bestseller or having bestselling books. The number most commonly tossed out is 25k units. Given, that doesn't differentiate hardcover, trade, MM, ebook, etc...

PastyAlien
09-19-2015, 01:31 AM
Yep, Kobo is a big deal up here in canucklehead land. I have a Kobo e-reader, along with everyone else and their hound. Congrats!

Laer Carroll
09-26-2015, 06:08 PM
You've no reason and no right to be rude to me...
I didn't interpret IF's questions as rudeness. Just questions. And you answered them.

Kylabelle
09-26-2015, 07:02 PM
I didn't interpret IF's questions as rudeness. Just questions. And you answered them.

LC, it got resolved. No need to resurrect it. Thanks.

brainstorm77
09-26-2015, 07:48 PM
I have yet to be able to interpret sales ranking numbers on any site. On Amazon I have had good rankings and when I got my statements sometimes I was pleased with the actual sales numbers and other times not so much. I don't take them seriously anymore. now if you were in the top ten or something for a long period of time I would say that would be cause for celebration :)

May you always have great sales!

Book Chic
09-30-2015, 08:05 AM
Well, I'm going to send up a congrats - bestseller or not! To know you have readers is to know you have a reason to write. A toast to you! :)

noirdood
12-26-2015, 11:19 PM
It's better than not having that designation. I hate to poop anyone's party but the last time I looked the New York Times "Best Seller" list does not list the best sellers.
And The Times admitted it. You can look it up.
Some booksellers sued The Times saying "those are not the best sellers in those categories," and The Times answered that no, they were not. The Times surveyed a small group of select (selected by them for their own unknown reasons) number of booksellers and interpolated which books might be the best sellers from that.
I suggest it is not smart to take too much stock in the hype you hear. Everyone lies. The Queen Mary ocean liner (remember those days?) used to claim all the time that they crossed the Atlantic in record time. Who cares? And their claim would be that they cut a couple of seconds off the record. Big deal and they usually lied about that anyway. But they got their name in print.
I'll bet you folks think the guy called out the wrong winner's name in the Miss Universe nonsense. Hah. Nobody would have seen more than a mere mention of that tired old T&A show if they hadn't invented the hype.
And I'll bet you think a streaker invaded the Oscars one year while David Niven was speaking. THAT was scripted and rehearsed. Did you notice all the camera saw was the his back above the waist? A total con job. I have friends who were there.
Then there's the dude who supposedly sold a photograph for several million dollars. Oh brother do I have a bridge in Brooklyn for you.

Kylabelle
12-26-2015, 11:42 PM
Closing this one for now.

noirdood, I appreciate many of your comments, and may I just give you a hint here? We generally don't enjoy posts that necro threads. As well, since you are in fact a new dude (or member at any rate), folks might suspect that you are hurrying up to get your requisite 50 in, so you can make use of the SYW critique section quickly.

That is most definitely not appreciated. So, word to the wise, maybe slow down, and maybe start a few threads yourself, or even post some critiques in your genre of choice. Those are much better ways to get involved here.

Thanks!