While this blog post over at Tomorrow’s Book has more than a little bitterness to it, it’s also informative. More and more people are choosing to self-publish these days, and even if it’s a hassle, you’d think a new e-book store like Kobo would want to embrace this nascent business model. After all, if you cut out the middle men, you can get right to the chiseling.
In this case, a perfectly normal book was submitted for publication in the Kobo bookstore, and the creators were told they needed to go through a “digital aggregator,” essentially a business with whom Kobo already has a relationship, that can package the books in the way Kobo likes, and likely is already giving solid terms on middle-man fees. This isn’t that egregious — the blog post makes it sound like Kobo sent them a letter bomb — but isn’t the whole point of decentralizing publishing to remove this exact kind of unnecessary step?
Certainly the bar for entry has been lowered, but as long as you’re going 90% of the way, Kobo, why not take the last step? I feel certain you’ll be forced to eventually, or else just allow Amazon and B&N’s self-publishing systems to rule the roost. Not a good business decision.
Luckily, there are still many ways of getting your book out there. The industry is still adapting, and will be for several years still, so give them a little time to work out the kinks and come to grips with their broken dreams.