Kobo Adds Marvel Digital Comics

Marvel_Wallpaper_Series___LOGO_by_Aks_DesignsA new partnership brings more than 250 of Marvel’s digital comics to Kobo’s catalog.

Many of those titles are tied to popular franchises with established fan bases, like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, so the move probably doesn’t herald a seismic shift in the outlook for fixed-layout and illustrated ebooks.

Still, it’s a modest vote of confidence in the format on Kobo’s part, not to mention an expanded play in a field dominated by ComiXology, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year.


Related: Kobo’s Director of Merchandising Nathan Maharaj to Speak at DBW15

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HarperCollins Expands Multimedia Marketing (DBW)
A new podcast series called “HarperCollins Presents” will host weekly conversations with the publisher’s top authors, in an expansion of the direct-to-consumer strategy HarperCollins is pursuing on a range of fronts.
Related: Angela Tribelli, Chief Marketing Officer at HarperCollins, Joins DBW15

ALA Says Adobe Privacy Patch Is a Good First Step (DBW)
The American Library Association, which earlier called Adobe’s clear-text transmission of user data through Adobe Digital Editions an “egregious” breach of privacy, welcomes the system’s recent software update. But the ALA goes further, outlining which uses and abuses of readers’ data it says still bedevil the ebook ecosystem.

Apple, Amazon and the Rental Economy (Wired)
Pointing to Amazon’s weak third-quarter finances and declining music sales in the iTunes store, one observer wonders whether consumers are turning away from ownership and toward media rental and streaming. It’s plausible, but if Apple and Amazon are both reaping what they’ve sown, they’re probably better positioned than anyone else to capitalize on such a shift.
Related: Subscription Ebooks Reconsidered at DBW15

Subscription Ebooks Eye Emerging Markets (Pub Perspectives)
Justo Hidalgo, founder of the ebook subscription service 24symbols, sees the model playing a key role in emerging markets. One competitive advantage of a smaller provider like 24symbols, in Hidalgo’s view, is the freedom to pursue readers “where it is difficult to access books, either because there is no Amazon or no credit cards.”
Related: Investigating Global Ebook Distribution at DBW15 | Read More from Justo Hidalgo

Discovery Bots Go to the Library (Co.Exist)
Algorithm-driven book recommendation engines are working their way into libraries, long powered by human recommendation engines, called librarians. The user experience can sometimes reflect the uneasy balancing act between the two.

Polls Open at Kindle Scout (Venturebeat)
Amazon’s new “reader-powered” publishing program opens up to allow readers to vote on the platform’s first submissions.
Related: Crowdsourcing on the Rise

Ebooks Deserve Prizes, Too (Guardian)
One observer laments that many of the book world’s top prizes require contenders to exist in print, preventing loads of great ebooks and transmedia projects from getting the recognition they deserve. We happen to agree. Meet the Digital Book Awards.

South Korea Seeks Its Own J. K. Rowling (WSJ)
Recent legislation reforms the practice of “outright purchase” by which publishers keep full copyright of authors’ works and authors are owed no royalties. The change, championed by President Park Geun-hye, is designed to cultivate higher-profile Korean authors with the incentive for greater reward, and subsequently to reinvigorate the industry.


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