Month: February 2019

Christine Munro from Kobo BSW026

“Nerd ‘Till I Die”

Christine Munroe, “Has the coolest job ever. She leads the KWL business team, helping authors successfully reach millions of Kobo readers around the world.

She has a BA and MA in English Literature from McGill University and worked as a literary agent and international book scout in New York before joining Kobo. Her favourite part of her job is helping independent writers achieve great results and make a living from their writing, as well as working with her fabulous colleagues on the KWL team!

Christine plays several musical instruments and has a terrible tendency to buy guitars on a whim. She had a scholarship lined up to do a degree in jazz (baritone sax) but went the English major route instead. Her favourite genre is literary fiction.” (

Note: The above bio has Canadian spelling, eh.

Show Highlights

  • Christine calls herself a “Nerd ‘Till I Die.”
  • she runs the global self-pub platform for Rakuten Kobo
  • Kobo is the number one digital bookseller in France, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It also has a strong foothold in Canada. We talk about how that happened in a world dominated by Amazon.
  • We talk about how Kobo is different from Amazon: 1. It sells only books and 2. Rather than trying to dominate the market, Kobo seeks to collaborate with existing businesses.
  • What Kobo’s relationship with Wallmart  means for readers and writers
  • Kobo Plus is a subscription service (similar to KU) which has started in The Netherlands with a partnership with Bol
  • Writers can get their books into libraries through Overdrive, available through Kobo.
  • In 2012 Rakuten took over Kobo, moving it from a start-up company to an international business with an expanded reach
  • We talked about a quote I took from Mark Leslie Lefebrvre’s book, Killing it on Kobo, “Unlike Amazon with an operation meant to compete with and dominate the market, Kobo seeks out collaborative bookselling operations leveraging their strengths in digital ebook and audiobook sales with their partner’s strengths in selling physical books. This collaborative approach is quite Canadian, eh?”
  • The culture of Kobo is distinct. It’s run by people who love books. The selling is done in a collaborative model.
  • We talked about the Promotion Tab on writer’s dashboards, and she said if you don’t have one, ask for it. ( It took me five minutes to get mine.)
  • We talked about writing down goals.
  • We also talked about the emergence of audio
  • We talked about Kobo’s weekly podcast, Kobo Writing Life. They interview authors, people within the publishing business and Kobo people.


If you want help with Kobo, send an email to

They actually have people in charge of “author care!”

Killing it on Kobo

My review of Mark Leslie Levebvre’s book, Killing it on Kobo, will go live on my author blog on Thurs. Feb. 21st. I condensed my eight pages of notes down to one page. If you want to know more about Kobo, check it out.

BSW 024 Zombie Poetry & Thrillers, Al Lane & Mark O’Neill 20190205

For a change of pace, I’ve interviewed two authors this week, Al Lane and Mark O-Brien.  Al lives in England and Mark lives in Germany. One writes and performs poetry, the other pens spy thrillers. Enjoy.

Al Lane

I met Al a couple years ago when I took part in the A-Z blog challenge, which involves posting every day of the month on one theme, with titles going A-Z. He wrote hilarious post-apocalyptic zombie haiku while I wrote about mythological beasts.

Show Notes

  • Al got hooked on rhyming poetry, reading stories to his first son
  • started writing picture books, loved the writing and the people
  • moved onto poetry from there, and on to performing poetry
  • has two books published: The Lane Less Travelled, a small anthology of this work that he hands out at gigs, and Haiku of the Dead, which is available on Amazon (see below)
  • he writes prose, poetry, flash fiction and screenplays

Top Piece of Advice

Just go out and try things. Never be afraid of trying something new.


“I’ve no agenda to push, unless you count a belief that poetry should be a universal communicator and not confined to elites full of smug self-congratulation. Poetry should be fun, as well as have a heart… that is what I strive for. Uplifting nonsense that makes you think…” (from his website)




Haiku of the Dead

Haiku of the Dead, the essential guide to surviving the rise of the zombies in glorious technicolor haiku with dollops of humour, is available globally from Amazon – just amend the specific Amazon bit of the web address in the links below if you’re not in the UK or US, or search for Alistair Lane (there’s only one of me, it seems!):




US –

Pictures of Al Performing


A Certain Point of View (his website and blog)
Or on youtube

Mark O’Neill

  • loves writing spy thrillers
  • connects with several Facebook writing groups
  • started off publishing exclusively on Amazon, but has gone wide and is growing sales around the world
  • eclectic reader

One Piece of Advice

…from Hemingway,

“Write drunk, edit sober.”

The Renegade Spy

A Deadly Assassin Is After The German ChancellorGerman Intelligence officer Captain Sophie Decker has a reputation for refusing to play by the rules. This has made her enemies in her own service. But when an informant reveals a plot to assassinate the German Chancellor, Decker is assigned to protect the chancellor and kill the assassin.

She seems perfect, someone who will do whatever it takes to get the job done. But Decker has never had an opponent like the legendary Scorpion. He is relentless and ruthless, a faceless killer with an almost superhuman ability to disappear without a trace. Wherever he goes, he leaves a trail of dead bodies in his wake.

Bringing down the Scorpion will require precision, teamwork, and an ability to finesse the system – skills that a maverick like Decker don’t normally use. This time though, Decker’s rebelliousness could cost the Chancellor her life.


Mark O’Neill is a British award-winning fiction author now living in Würzburg, Germany. He is the creator of the acclaimed Department 89 spy thriller series and the Scorpion novels. He has won Bookworks’ “Book Of The Week” and the Readers Choice Awards 2018. His book “Operation Eternal Vengeance” has been nominated for the Readers Choice Awards 2019.

Contact Info – links are there to each book and each sales platform.


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