Kobo Quarantining and Reviewing All eBook Titles

New FlashI just received this message from Kobo. It sounds as though they have quarantined every title to ensure nothing that violates their content policies is published through their outlet.

Here’s what the email said:

To our Kobo Writing Life and self-publishing partners:

As you may be aware, there has been a significant amount of negative media attention in the UK regarding offensive material that became available across a number of eBook platforms. Kobo was included in the reports from media and we are taking immediate action to resolve an issue that is the direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies.

In order to address the situation Kobo is taking the following steps:

1. We are removing titles in question from the Kobo platform.

2. We are quarantining and reviewing titles to ensure that compliance to our policies is met by all authors and publishers. We will ensure that content meeting the policy is made available online as soon as possible.

3. We are reviewing our policies and procedures to implement safeguards that will ensure this situation does not happen in the future.

We are working hard to get back to business as usual, as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Our goal at Kobo is not to censor material; we support freedom of expression. Further, we want to protect the reputation of self-publishing as a whole. You have our promise that we will do all we can to ensure the exceptions that have caused this current situation will not have a lasting effect on what is an exciting new channel that connects Readers to a wealth of books.


Mark Lefebvre

Director, Kobo Writing Life


3 thoughts on “Kobo Quarantining and Reviewing All eBook Titles

  1. Hi Diane! Interesting you post that as many have their opinions of this debacle. I also wrote a post and mentioned this, which I will be posting tomorrow. It seems ludicrous that distributors could police all these books. Like I wrote, seriously, if they are going to have to read every book that is to be published, it could become a long drawn out affair to get yourself published. I was under the impression that there are guidelines when you ‘hit publish’ of what is and isn’t acceptable. One would think that the trolls and reviewers are the eyes to spot the indiscretions of some books and their reviews would prompt the action of the distributors to take a look. I just don’t know how this can be resolved. Surely if they implement some sort of newfangled software to look for ‘words pertaining to erotica’ that would close off a lot of books accidentally because of perhaps a mere word or two used in that context. This is truly a paradoxical situation. 🙂


    • Debby, I agree. This sounds crazy. We can’t expect them to hire people to read every book. Like you, I thought the trolls and reviews would find the books that don’t belong there. This is also a crazy time to implement such a review, when people are gearing up for Christmas sales.

      If they do choose a list of words to hunt, I hope they make a list, so someone with a legitimate doesn’t use them by accident.

      It should all work itself out in the end. I’m just going to leave it be and let it do just that.


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