I got a month of free Kobo Plus when I purchased my new Kobo Clara HD. With their free trial month, I now have two months of unlimited free reading of the Kobo Plus catalogue. I’m lucky they have this program available in the Netherlands, and I can try it out.
This post isn’t sponsored. Neither was my purchase of the Kobo ereader. Read my earlier post about why I’m a Kobo reader. I’m talking about these products because I believe in them. The book links are affiliate links. Using them won’t cost you more, but it helps me keep the website running. Click here for more info.
What is Kobo Plus?
Kobo Plus is Kobo’s subscription service that includes ebooks and/or audiobooks for one fee. Not all books are included in the catalogue but there is no exclusivity. So the bar is much lower for authors and publishers to enter their books.
If you only read ebooks or listen to audiobooks, it’s 9,99 for one month. If you want both, it’s 12,99. There are currently more than 270.000 ebooks and audiobooks in the Plus catalogue. In the Dutch, Belgian, and Canadian store, you’ll find a price and a message saying you can read it for free.
The Kobo Plus catalogue
Since Kobo Plus started in the Netherlands and Belgium, a large part of their catalogue is Dutch. This might not be interesting to people outside of the countries but it’s a pretty big deal for those within those borders. Dutch ebooks have a higher average price and just reading two books a month might be cheaper than buying them to own. And, of course, as a whale reader, the program is perfect for you.
With their expansion to Canada this year, I hoped more traditional publisher would also put their books in the program. So far, the new releases aren’t added. Maybe ebooks from the smaller presses are entered but don’t expect too many traditional published books.
Indie authors are asked during the setup of their book if they want to include their book in the Kobo Plus catalogue. There is no downside since there is no exclusivity like with Kindle Unlimited. The language of the book doesn’t matter either. I’m sure French authors will also see an increase in reads now that Canada has access to Kobo Plus.
Since I’m from the Netherlands, my default store is Dutch, and thus Kobo recommends me Dutch books. I still prefer to read in English, so how do I get to my English Kobo Plus books without checking all the titles individually? You go to the Canadian store. Since the catalogue isn’t region bound, the books in the Canadian store are also available to me. Still, their front page mostly recommends romance, mystery, and thriller books. All of those are not my main genres.
So which books did I pick to read?
Multiple books by Paulien Cornelisse
Paulien Cornelisse is a Dutch columnist and comedian. I own one of her books and used to read her column in the paper. Her books are mostly language-related, but she also wrote about her adventures in Japan, topics I highly enjoy.
The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon by Benedict Patrick
I saw the cover as part of the SPFBO cover contest and fell in love. It’s no secret a great cover will lure me in without difficulty, and The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon did just that. I followed the author and only recently noticed his book were in Kobo Plus. So, heck yes!
Impossible world. Impossible dragon. Impossible adventure.
Lost with her ship and crew in an unfamiliar land, Min’s first command could be her last.
Nothing here behaves the way it should:
The magic that powers her skyship has been drained, rendering it immobile.
The sky is an endless twilight, lit by the luminous fish that swim in it.
Off starboard, there’s also the country-sized dragon that is looking particularly hungry.
It will take all of Min’s training and experience to get her people safely back home, but as the truth about the Darkstar Dimension begins to be revealed, Min will have to prove to her crew – and to herself – that she is still the best person for the job.
From the twisted mind that created the ‘delightfully weird’ Yarnsworld series comes a fantasy adventure like no other.
Wrapped Up In You by Talia Hibbert
This is an exclusive story Talia Hibbert wrote for Kobo. I’ve heard a lot of good things about her Brown Sisters series, and the first one is waiting for me too. But I really want to read this one before Christmas because, you know, it’s a holiday read.
William Reid is nothing special, except for his billion-dollar acting career and his, you know, face. (Apparently, it’s a good one.) Winning ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ was nice, but this Christmas, he has more important goals in mind… like finally winning over his lifelong crush (and best friend’s twin sister), the super-smart and kinda-scary Abbie Farrell.
When a blizzard leaves Will and Abbie alone at Grandma Farrell’s house (if bunking with 27 pets counts as ‘alone’), it’s the perfect opportunity to pull off a Christmas miracle. Convincing clever, frosty Abbie to give Will a chance will take more than mistletoe, but hiding his lifelong crush on her is no longer an option.
Navigating The Stars by Maria V. Snyder
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much about when or where I first saw the book or heard about the author, but it stuck. And now I’m really curious about the book. Sometimes you have to check a chance on a new to you author, right?
“The answer is no, Lyra,” my mother says.
No means I have to travel with them to another planet—again.
No means leaving all my friends fifty years in the past. Thanks, Einstein.
Seventeen-year-old Lyra Daniels can’t truly blame Einstein or her parents for their impending move across the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s all due to the invention of the Q-net, which made traveling the vast distances in space possible—with one big caveat: the time dilation. But that never stopped Lyra’s ancestors from exploring the Milky Way, searching for resources and exoplanets to colonize. What they didn’t expect to find is life-sized terracotta Warriors buried on twenty-one different exoplanets.
… Make that twenty-two.
As the Galaxy’s leading experts on the Warriors, Lyra’s parents are thrilled by the new discovery, sending them—and her—fifty years into the future. Her social life in ruins, she fills her lonely days by illegally worming into the Q-net. The only person close to her age is the annoyingly irresistible security officer who threatens to throw her into the brig.
After the planet they just left goes silent—meaning no communications from them at all—security has bigger problems to deal with than Lyra, especially when vital data files go missing. But that’s just the beginning, because they’re not as alone as they thought on their new planet… and suddenly time isn’t the only thing working against them.
The Cecilia and Kate novels by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
Witchy cousins in Regency-era England? Sign me up! This will be my longest read at 999 pages. Is that the maximum number of pages counted or is it really 999 pages? I don’t know, but I have a strong feeling I want more than those 999 pages.
Enter Regency-era England—and a world in which magical mayhem and high society go hand in hand—with three novels featuring cousins Cecelia and Kate.
In Sorcery & Cecelia, the two cousins have been inseparable since girlhood. But in 1817, Kate goes to London to make her debut into English society, leaving Cecelia behind to fight boredom in her small country town. While visiting the Royal College of Wizards, Kate stumbles on a plot to destroy a beloved sorcerer—and only Cecelia can help her save him.
The Fiction Formula by Sean M. Platt & Johnny Truant
I’m still growing as a publisher and business books are always welcome. The Fiction Formula is just one of the many business books available and I’ll take any advice I can get.
All you need to know to be a full-time storyteller is in these pages.
Johnny Truant and Sean M. Platt — owners of the Sterling & Stone Story Studio and authors of the how-to-publish cornerstone Write. Publish. Repeat — have spent the last eight years learning the ins and outs of professional storytelling. Between just the two of them, they’ve written 100 books. The studio as a whole, in 2020 alone, will publish nearly 200 more.
To write and publish that much quality, reader-pleasing fiction, you can’t just wing it. You need a formula to keep things streamlined and on-target. With a formula, you can be sure you’re writing books that will sell. That you’re enjoying writing them, and are doing so without writer’s block. When you use the fiction formula, your success becomes predictable — not a matter of luck.
Not Another Family Wedding by Jackie Lau
Seeing all of the Asian-American romantic comedies lately, has been an eye-opener. Although I’m not American, nor am I Chinese or one of the other often depicted nationalities, I feel like I missed this in my life. I watched a lot of J-dramas and K-dramas, but seeing it with a Western perspective is still very different. I really want to read more Asian romances so I picked this one. I have no idea what to expect and will dive in blind.
Natalie Chin-Williams might be a cranky professor of climatology who thinks the world is doomed, but she believes in lasting love…just not for herself. She has a long history of failed relationships, plus the men she dates inevitably want children and she doesn’t.
Now thirty-six and single, Natalie expects endless comments about her love life when she attends her baby sister’s wedding. Worse, weddings are always drama-filled disasters in her family. She needs emotional support to get through the weekend, so she enlists the help of her friend Connor Douglas, the dependable family doctor.
The wedding reception goes south when a drunk aunt announces a family secret that sends Natalie reeling and shakes her faith in love. Luckily, she has her long-time friend to lean on—a man she somehow ends up kissing. But there’s no way this could turn into anything lasting, is there? That’s impossible for her, especially now…
The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard
Aliette de Bodard is one of my insta-buy authors. I love her writing and storytelling. So far, I haven’t read a thing that disappoints me. But I’m still working my way through all of Aliette’s work and this one I haven’t read yet. Another perfect opportunity to read this. It’s also one of the few traditional published books I’ve seen. Servant of the Underworld is also in the Kobo Plus catalogue.
The Citadel of Weeping Pearls was a great wonder; a perfect meld between cutting-edge technology and esoteric sciences—its inhabitants capable of teleporting themselves anywhere, its weapons small and undetectable and deadly.
Thirty years ago, threatened by an invading fleet from the Dai Viet Empire, the Citadel disappeared and was never seen again.
But now the empire itself is under siege, on the verge of a war against an enemy that turns their own mindships against them; and the Empress, who once gave the order to raze the Citadel, is in desperate need of its weapons. Meanwhile, on a small isolated space station, an engineer obsessed with the past works on a machine that will send her thirty years back, to the height of the Citadel’s power.
But the Citadel’s disappearance still extends chains of grief and regret all the way into the fraught atmosphere of the Imperial Court; and this casual summoning of the past might have world-shattering consequences . . .
The Stolen Kingdom by Bethany Atazadeh
This is an Aladdin retelling. I’m a sucker for fairy tales, and Aladdin is one of my favorites. So yes, please. All but the last book in the series are in the catalogue too. Do I see a binge read coming up?
How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself?
Princess Arie never expected to manifest a Jinni’s Gift. When she begins to hear the thoughts of those around her, she hides it to the best of her ability. But to her dismay, the forbidden Gift is growing out of control.
When a neighboring king tries to force her hand in marriage and steal her kingdom, discovery becomes imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life.
A lamp, a heist, and a Jinni hunter’s crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift–and she must remove it before she’s exposed. Or die trying.
Do you have any suggestions for what I should read while I’m subscribed?