Believe it or not, Kobo beat out Google and Amazon this week.
The Toronto-based ebook and device company became the first international ebook player to launch in Brazil – and it did it in spectacular fashion with a gala event at the flagship location of Livraria Cultura, Brazil’s largest bookstore chain where celebrities read aloud from Kobo’s readers and the masses thronged around the new devices (more in the blurb below).
Kobo is thought to be the leader in Canada when it comes to ebook market share and has established footholds in other countries around the world. It has some advantages against its competitors:
— Focused on ebooks and e-reading solely (unlike Amazon, Apple and Google)
— Born international (it expanded from Canada to the U.S. early on)
— It has deals to sell into indie bookshops in the U.S. and UK
That said, the competition is strong, well-funded and aggressive. It’s hard to bet against them. Still, with its native advantages and aggressive international expansion, Kobo’s got a fighting chance.
Kobo’s Big Brazil Launch (DBW)
As far as we can tell, Kobo was officially the first international ebook retailer in Brazil. Amazon and Google launched just hours later. Kobo, unlike the other two, had a gala party at a major bookstore with celebrity readings to celebrate.
Open Road, Ingram Partner on Digital Distribution (DBW)
Open Road will now offer publishers, agents and authors the ability to digitize their published works (if they haven’t been already) and will distribute them. The service will be powered by Ingram.
New York Times Acknowledges Ebook Reality (paidContent)
The New York Times has adapted its children’s best-seller list to account for the rise of young adult books. It will also count ebook sales.
Strong Author Platform Translates to Book Sales (DBW)
The traditional book promotion paradigm is shifting away from publicist-generated buzz for new title launches, to a year-round marketing partnership between author and publisher.
Fifty Shades Bonus (New York Times)
Random House employees – from top to bottom – will each be receiving a $5,000 bonus this holiday season because of the incredible success of the Fifty Shades trilogy. Some back-of-napkin math: As of Dec. 2011, Random House had 5,343 employees; assuming that’s the same number it has today, this bonus will cost the company $26,715,000. At $9.99 a pop, that’s nearly 300,000 Fifty Shades ebooks sold to raise that kind of revenue.
Waterstones Ads on Ad-Free Kindle (The Digital Reader)
A screen saver for Kindles sold at Waterstones, a bookstore chain in the UK which sells Amazon devices, is reportedly displaying the Waterstones logo. Even the supposedly ad-free Kindles.
Southeast Asia Ebook Conference (Pub Weekly)
Some 200 people showed up for the inaugural ASEAN eBook Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The ebook markets in the countries covers – Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, to name three – are in their infancy.
Big Brother E-Readers (Christian Science Monitor)
A recent survey confirms what we all know: E-readers track reader behavior. Now when can book publishing companies get in on some of that data?
Defending Dunham (Book Riot)
Lena Dunham was taken out of context in the Forbes headline “Lena Dunham Doesn’t Write for Money and She Doesn’t Think You Should Either.”
Inspiring Message From Hachette Employees (DBW)
Hachette employees joined a popular video campaign to deliver an inspiring message to bullied kids.
Ebook Philosophy (Theology?) (Scholarly Kitchen)
Is a book merely its mortal container or the soul of knowledge that resides inside?
A Bookish Christmas Tree (imgur)
Presented without comment except for this one: FIRE HAZARD?!
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