How Kobo Plans to Launch in 12 New Countries a Year

Kobo's Michael Tamblyn presenting at Digital Book World. Photo credit: Babette Ross

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E-reader and e-book seller Kobo was born international.

The Toronto-based company had to expand abroad from the very beginning, as Canada isn’t a very large market, said Kobo vice president of content, sales and merchandising Michael Tamblyn at the Digital Book World conference in New York last week.

How has the company expanded to multiple foreign markets in just a few short years? At any given time, Kobo is acquiring content in nearly 30 countries and the key is local operators who understand local markets.

4 thoughts on “How Kobo Plans to Launch in 12 New Countries a Year

  1. Matt Mullin Post author

    “The US has become the most value focused, savings focused market in the world as it relates to ebooks. It is ferociously competitive in the bottom end of the market as people scramble around looking for 99 cent, 2.99, 3.99 content.”

    That’s a really interesting data point from Kobo. We’ve heard a lot recently about the opportunities for selling ebooks abroad, but less about how to price effectively for each market.

    I suspect that many US based publishers are overpricing in some markets but underpricing in others. As to the former, I’m sure many publishers still price their titles more expensively in Canada, even though we’ve been at currency parity for a long time now. Having some partners on the ground in each of those marketplaces will be a huge boon to publishers in 2012.

  2. Evelyn Trimborn

    As one of the founders of Eternal Spiral Books, I can say that those prices are the sweet spot in terms of price point for us. We offer high-quality ebooks ranging from 10,000 to over 40,00o words and our prices are determined by length and subject matter. We offer titles that teach people valuable skills through action steps, and our main categories are personal finance, health, self-help. We have all been published by traditional publishers and are tired of being treated like rubbish. We are also tired of readers being treated that why by the big houses. We work with a collective of skilled people all experienced in the publishing industry to make the world a better place for ebooks and people who can’t afford the outrageous prices charged by fat cat publishers.

  3. Aaron Turner

    Technology has enabled millions to read a book even if it isn’t a hardcopy, there is no excuse for not picking up something to read. The small yearly fee shown on this site is very reasonable and if you’re the type of person that want to keep a light load and have access to an iPad, laptop, or tablet why not subscribe so you can read anywhere you go.



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