I'm not referring to their Kobo Reader apps (which are DRM-encrypted, a Very Bad Idea for anyone) but rather the way Kobo Books made it next to impossible to find a book on their web site.
Kobo has had the ridiculous habit of consistently changing the URL of a book on sale in the Kobo Store making it virtually impossible to find--therefore, completely impossible to promote. That is, if the link you tweet is obsolete by the time a user clicks on it, how can you possibly drive traffic to this kind of moving target? Click through to learn more.
Many of us Indie Authors rallied and complained but I think the big thanks go to Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, for pushing gently and incessantly at Kobo to implement the incredibly easy technological solution to this problem. Yes, Kobo Books has implemented a search-by-ISBN feature as promoted by Smashwords over the past year.
Finally, it's possible to create permalinks for a book at the Kobo store. Simply form the URL as follows:
where ISBN is your book's 13-digit ISBN without spaces or dashes. For instance, for my RomCom, Dicky's Story, which has an ISBN of "9781458062734" I would form the permalink URL as follows (click through to see if the book is there).
You can buy the book while you're there if you'd like (LOL) Hey, I donate 10% of all proceeds earned to the Covenant House, which works to Abolish Child Trafficking, rescuing trafficked children from the sex slave trade, keeping them from starving and/or freezing to death on the streets of the United States.
If, like me, you're using a URL shortener service such as bit.ly, you should probably create a new, customized version of your Kobo Books Permalink. For instance, I used the above long URL to create a customized, shortened one:
Again, huge thanks to Mark Coker for making this happen. It took all of 2012 to get Kobo to understand constantly changing and moving a book's web address does not help sell books. Now if we could just get them to remove the DRM from Kobo Books, life would be grand!
Happy 2013, everyone!