So, Kobo has opened up their self-publishing portal, and I combed through the Terms of Service. Here’s the basics:
- Kobo can change terms as they see fit, and you must accept new terms every time they make changes. This is standard, but I like to put it up front because I’ve seen some people surprised that this is the case.
- Kobo has the right to reject or remove works from their catalog as they see fit.
- Kobo will provide free samples of ebooks to potential buyers. They can also choose to market your book as their discretion.
- Kobo expressly acknowledges that authors/publishers retain all rights to their own works.
- Kobo will allow authors/publishers to grant territorial rights as they see fit. In short, if you only want your books available in a certain country, you can choose it.
- Kobo gives you the option of choosing to use DRM.
- Kobo allows you to deactivate your account at any time or deactivate any particular works at any time.
- Kobo allows you to set a “suggested retail price” but may change the price or add taxes to the price as they see fit.
- Kobo pays out a 45% royalty to any works priced under $1.99.
- Kobo pays out a 70% royalty to any works between $1.99-$12.99. (There’s a bunch of other requirements in that section that you should read and parse on your own, as I’m just trying to lay out facts and not be the spokesperson for how that whole kit works.
- Kobo is not responsible for losses/damages/etc.
In short, it’s a fairly standard contract for the services being offered. You do need to carefully comb through, not just the whole TOS, but especially the 70% royalty requirements, as there’s more than just, “Set your price at X.”