Digital reading company Kobo is launching a competitor to Amazon’s KDP and Barnes & Noble’s PubIt. The Kobo Writing Life tool kit is a free self-publishing platform for independent authors and publishers, says Paid Content.
Writing Life utilizes an open-source conversion process, transforming Word, Mobi, and Text files into an ePub, so it’s ready for instant publication to hoards of Kobo readers.
In a separate press release, Michael Tamblyn, Kobo’s EVP content and merchandising, says, “When we started working on Kobo Writing Life, the first thing we did was ask authors what they felt was most important in a self-publishing platform.
They were clear: openness, control, great royalties, incredible reporting and global reach. It should be powerful but drop-dead simple.”
Unlike some self-publishing portals (Amazon), Kobo doesn’t tie you to their platform. You can publish to Kobo and take your ePub to other platforms. You’re free to sell your eBook the way you want. Kobo says you can set up a free Kobo Writing Life account and start publishing right away.
Kobo announced today triple digital growth year on year. Their eBook downloads have increased by over 400%, eReader sales by 160%, and eReaders by 280%. Their bookstore surpassed 2.5-million titles with 1-million free books and books in 60 languages. Kobo recently partnered with the McClatchy Group, Dark Horse Comics and Trajectory Classics Illustrated to bring readers the latest comic, graphic novels, and newspapers.
In other ebook news, Amazon has acquired publisher Avalon Books, in a deal that gives the online retailer publication rights to over 3,000 backlist titles in the romance, mystery, and Western genres, the company said Monday.
Amazon offers a version of its Kindle reader app for Windows 8 as well as most phones and tablets. Currently, Barnes & Noble relies on a customized version of Google’s Android operating system for products such as the Nook Color. It’s not clear if the new B&N company might opt to use Microsoft software going forward given the new partnership.
What Apple is attempting to do with free software and limited distribution is bound to fail, said Bill McCoy, executive director of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), a global trade and standards organization for the promotion of electronic publishing.
“To limit the distribution of an EPUB file to only Apple’s channel would be the equivalent of Google saying that you can only use the HTML created with Google Docs on the Google Chrome browser,” said McCoy.
Gartner forecasts Android tablet sales increasing eight-fold over the next five years, but iSuppli says Apple will maintain a dominant market share. They predict total global media tablet shipments will reach 124 million units in 2012, up 90 percent from 65 million in 2011, with shipments projected to increase to 197 million in 2013, to 250 million in 2014, to 285 million in 2015 and to 311 million in 2016.
Related e-book articles on Dailywireless include; Microsoft Buys B&N’s Nook Business, iBooks: Cellular’s Big Bang?, Apple Textbook App
New Kindle File Format, Apple Vs Amazon on Subscription Services, E-Book Judgement Day, Nook Color Updated for Android Apps, Kindle Library Lending, Adobe: Tablet Publishing for Android, Google Editions: Web eBooks Readied, Bookstores: Preparing for E-Books?, e-Publishing: The New Normal, E-Magazines: Pay Once, Play Anywhere, Battle of the eBooks and Tablet Revolution!