Every book published through Kobo Writing Life undergoes our QA process. When a title does not meet our standards for publication we will decline the title and inform the author the reason for rejection. Don’t panic! Listed below are our most common reasons for rejection and steps you can take to successfully publish your title.
You will see rejected titles as “Declined” in your dashboard. To see the reason for rejection, select the title on your dashboard and navigate to the “Publish your ebook” page.
1. Duplicate Content
Have you published your title(s) through Smashwords, Draft2Digital, BookBaby, Streetlib or any other eBook distribution sites?
These distributors send eBooks to a wide variety of eBook retailers including Kobo. When an author publishes their titles through Kobo Writing Life and these online retailers, it often causes a title to appear twice on our site. We do not allow duplicates of titles on our website as it is confusing to our customers since they are often unsure which book is the “correct” title to buy. Most distributors allow authors to choose which retailers to distribute to. In this case, you can deselect Kobo as an option for distribution which will allow you to publish directly through Kobo Writing Life.
2. Public Domain
Is your title part of the public domain?
Please make sure to declare your title as public domain. You can do this on the “Describe your eBook” page of the publishing process. Please note that while we accept public domain content, we do not accept content that another site has created and/or owns. Please ensure you're publishing your own, original edition of public domain titles.
3. Erotic Content
Are you publishing Erotica?
We require that authors correctly categorize their books as Erotica when it includes erotic content. Not only does it clearly mark your title as containing adult content but also allows our customers to better find your title when searching for Erotica books. You can find Erotica category codes under our Romance category. Explicit erotic content (photography and hentai/cartoon/illustration) cannot be sold in Japan so please ensure you deselect Japan when selecting sales territories.
4. Book Cover Images
Do you own the rights to the images you are using for your book cover?
Using images as your book cover without the permission of the original creator is infringing on copyright and we are unable to accept these images. Books covers should be original creations and cannot be taken directly from other books or sources.
Does your cover image contain explicit sexual content?
Using explicit images on the cover is not allowed. Books containing explicit imagery will be rejected.
5. Incorrect Metadata
Have you correctly filled out the metadata for your title?
Book titles, subtitles, series titles or author fields that include extraneous words that are not part of the official title, subtitle, series title or author name are not acceptable and lead to confusion and corruption of metadata standards. We respectfully request that you ensure your title's metadata does not include such details so that the overall Kobo catalog can offer the most user-friendly experience for our customers.
Missing Metadata Fields
We will reject a title when the title, subtitle and series information are either not filled out correctly, or missed. This information is crucial for customers and when filled out incorrectly causes customers confusion when trying to purchase a title, particularly books from series. See below for an in-depth explanation of the metadata required.
Title: The official title of your book. Do not include the subtitle or series information here.
Subtitle: The explanatory or alternate title. Do not include tag words, series information or the title here.
Series Name: The series in which this title is included. Please do not include the series number, title or tag words in this spot. If your book is not part of a series, leave this space blank.
Volume Number: The number of the book in the series.
Incorrect Metadata Examples:
Correct Metadata Example:
If you are still unsure as to why your title has been rejected don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer any questions.