I really didn't want to do this, but I no longer have any choice.
I distribute some of my self-published titles to Diesel, Kobo, Sony and Apple via Smashwords. It came to my attention last week that Kobo discounted books uploaded by Smashwords. I thought maybe it was a one time glitch or something, but it looks like it is not. Furthermore this random and unauthorized discount has a huge financial impact on writers.
Mark Coker responded to the situation:
April 12, 2011 - Bugs of a different variety. Kobo has experienced a glitch that in the last two days that has caused an automatic repricing of some number of Smashwords titles. We don't know how many are affected yet, but I've personally confirmed about 20 books affected in the last two days. I have noticed an initial pattern that in some cases, the prices reverted back to a previous list price, so it might only be affecting authors who raised their prices after first landing at Kobo. Kobo is aware of the problem, and they've escalated it to the highest priority. If you discover your books are affected, click the comments/questions link and send us a direct hyperlink to your book at Kobo, along with a notation of the proper price, and we'll forward the information to Kobo in case they're not aware of it already. Whatever you do, DO NOT opt out. I expect this to be resolved shortly because Kobo doesn't want this error taking place any more than we do.
Here's the thing -- I don't trust that Kobo's glitch was a two-day problem because I know it's been going on longer than that. I'm not confident that Kobo can fix it anytime soon. Given that this can impact my pricing at other vendors, including Amazon and Nook, I'm pulling all my titles from Kobo.
In addition, Mark Coker's comments on Kindleboards give me no confidence that Smashwords or Kobo is going to take responsibility for what went wrong, as they seem too busy blaming Amazon for daring to price match.
I'm sorry if you happen to like shopping at Kobo. But all my books are priced below $4.00, and I cannot afford to have Kobo's "glitch" mess things up for me at other vendors, especially given that my sales numbers from Kobo are so much smaller than what I get elsewhere (such as Kindle, Nook and Sony).
So here are the updated vendor links for all my titles: