A few months ago Rakuten Kobo launched its all-you-can-read eBook subscription service Kobo Plus in Australia for $13.99/month after a 30-day free trial. The service offers over 580,000 eBook titles available which sounds like a lot, but bear in mind that many are self-published books and authors you might not have read before.
Why aren’t top 10 authors books included in Kobo Plus?
I don’t know what the average earnings per month are for authors who agree to have their books included in the Kobo Plus catalogue. Obviously best selling authors who can get $10, $20 or more for a single sale of their new e-book is not going to want it included in a subscription service that may only pay 25 cents per book fully read.
There are some exceptions though: Searching through the Kobo Plus catalogue I occasionally found books by known authors such as James S.A. Corey, the popular manga Attack on Titan, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. My bet is they have allowed limited books to be available via Kobo Plus in the hope that enough readers will buy their other books. That or they are happy for their older books to be available via subscription service to continue a potentially dwindling revenue stream.
Who is Kobo Plus suitable for?
If you like lots of romance novels, that’s a genre that is very common in the Kobo Plus catalogue judging by a quick scroll through a list of popular titles, you’ll never run out of new romances to read.
The other big genres are Mystery & Suspense (thrillers and murder mysteries) and (Young Adult) books in the fantasy/sci-fi/romance genres mostly appealing to young women.
You might wonder why these genres are most heavily represented; according to Penguin Random House data about American eBook consumers most:
“are women, are younger than forty-five, have college degrees or have had some college education, and have upscale incomes. EBook consumers are over 20 percent more likely to have household incomes over $100,000 per year than non-eBook consumers. Preferred genres include mystery/suspense/detective fiction, general fiction, and romance”.
Other Kobo Plus categories include Non-fiction, Kids, SF & Fantasy, Biography & Memoir, Business & Finance and Comics/Graphic Novels.
How can you access Kobo Plus?
Australian subscribers can access Kobo Plus via the Booktopia App for Android or iOS, or Kobo app for iOS or Android or any Kobo eReader such as the newly launched Sage and Libra 2.
Is Kobo Plus worth paying $13.99/month?
This is going to be different for every reader. Basically, the maths you have to work out is can you read enough e-books available on Kobo Plus each month to make it worthwhile?
It’s worth paying for Kobo Plus for a month if the books you want to read from its catalogue aren’t available from your local library for free via Overdrive/Libby and it would’ve cost you more than $13.99 that month to buy those books individually on the Kobo, Booktopia or other ePub e-book stores.