I have been a loyal Kobo user since I purchased my first eReader from them back in 2010. At the time, there weren’t very many options available for Canadians looking to buy eBooks so I decided to give them a try. I read a lot of novels on my Vox but I’m sad to say that the vast majority of them are not acquired through their store. I’ve only bought a handful of novels from them for a number of reasons:
1. Their eBooks are overpriced.
More often than not it’s way cheaper for me to purchase a physical copy of a book than it is to buy an electronic version from them. I’m positively baffled by this. How can a novel with a cover, 300+ pages and shipping charges be cheaper than a computer file? Granted, I do have to add a few cents to Amazon’s listed prices because of the US to Canadian conversion but the increase is minimal. Kobo has been getting better as of late but they still have a long way to go before they succeed in meriting my hard earned money. A word of advice, don’t buy YA novels from them because they are ridiculously overpriced. I polled a mix of paranormal titles for argument’s sake and here are my findings:
|Rivals and Retribution by Shannon Delany|
|Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent|
|Midnight Reckoning by Kendra Leigh Castle|
|Seduced by Blood by Laurie London|
|The Taken by Vicki Pettersson|
|Moonglow by Kristen Callihan|
|Taken by Storm Jennifer Lynn Barnes|
|The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter|
|Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong|
|Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells|
|***Please note that these prices are from October 10th, 2012 and may have changed in the interim.|
By my calculations, I would have saved $4.41 by purchasing these 10 books from Amazon instead of Kobo. It might not seem like much at first glance but when you buy as many novels as I do, it adds up! Also, I was being generous with my sample, I could have just picked YA titles and really demonstrated how much they gouge customers.
2. New releases aren’t available on the pub. date.
Ok, so not everyone rushes out to buy a book the moment it’s available but if you want to you should at least have that option. Please refer to reason #3 while reading this because there’s a strong possibility that some of these novels may be available but I just couldn’t find them! Below is a random selection of books that were released or are coming out in October. Note how many titles still are not available on Kobo’s website.
|Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter|
|Mortal Ties by Eileen Wilks|
|Poison Princess by Kresley Cole|
|Phantom Shadows by Dianne Duvall|
|Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake|
|Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick|
|Iced by Karen Marie Moning|
|Black Lament by Christina Henry|
|Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones|
|The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams|
|***Please note that this is at of October 10th, 2012 and some of these titles may now be available.|
1 out of 10 isn’t bad, right? Yeeeaahh… I honestly tried to help Kobo save face here by looking up way more than just these 10 books and was unable to find a second October release on their website. How sad is that? It’s also worth mentioning that I’m not the only one who finds this incredibly frustrating. Authors trying to sells books do too:
3. Their webite search engine is atrocious.
Words can’t express how much I hate looking for books on their site. As a test for this post, I typed “Keeping Secret Sierra Dean” into their search engine and received 17,182 hits. This eBook shouldn’t be terribly hard to find in my opinion. It was released in July 2012 after all and is currently only available electronically. It’s not like I’m searching for some cryptic, impossible-to-get title. Typically search engines list results by relevancy i.e. the closest match to my keywords should be first, right? WRONG. None of the titles nor authors listed in the first page results match any of my search criteria. Wanting to further emphasize how crappy their search engine is; I decided to skim through the results until I came upon the actual book I was looking for. Guess which page I found the actual novel on. Go on, guess! I dare you.
Yes, you read that correctly. I had to scroll through 51 pages of results before arriving on entry number #510 which matched the book I was actually looking for. The only workaround that I have found is typing the novel info into Google and adding Kobo to the query. However, I still find it sad that I have to rely on another search engine in order to find books on Kobo’s own website.
4. Their “sales” suck.
I constantly get promotional e-mails from them encouraging me to take advantage of their special offers. I’m sorry but 20% off an already overpriced title does not even come close to competing with Kindle’s $0.99 deals. Every couple of months I get a “we miss you so here’s XX% off voucher” and I never use them because I can get a physical copy of the same novel from The Book Depository for way less.
In short, I hate Kobo’s website. Their prices aren’t competitive with similar online book vendors, it can sometimes take months for new titles to appear on their site and their search engine sucks. I would prefer to give my business to a Canadian merchant but unfortunately when this is one of my only options I can’t help but decide to spend my money elsewhere. It’s just not worth the hassle or the headache.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada