Kobo Moves to Expand Ebook Footprint

shutterstock_162216353Partnering with E Ink, Kobo launches a program allowing third-party-built devices to run its ebook app.

The deal is aimed at widening the customer base for Kobo’s ebooks. The Toronto-based retailer and device-maker took over Sony’s ebook business after the latter bowed out of the market, first in North America and then in Europe and Australia, earlier this year.

Kobo then placed its ebookstore onto existing Sony devices, making its latest program with E Ink an expansion in the same direction, allowing additional hardware partners to offer their users access to Kobo’s catalog.


Related: Hear Directly from Kobo President Michael Tamblyn Live at Digital Book World 2015

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iBooks Rep Unrepentant Ahead of Apple Appeal (Fortune)
Apple’s lead negotiator in its dealings with publishers, Eddy Cue, says he’d take the same approach to setting up the iBooks store that he did back in 2010, even though it led to an antitrust ruling against the tech company. This long-read retreads that familiar narrative but from Cue’s point of view.

Amazon Gets Audiobook Competition in Europe (The Digital Reader)
Thalia, a German ebook retailer, launches a subscription-based digital audiobook platform, pitting its 15,000 titles against the more than 100,000 that Audible currently offers in Germany. Still, Thalia’s DRM-free approach makes the service’s titles available to Tolino users as the consortium jockeys with Amazon for European customers.

Hachette Sales Exec Departs (Pub Lunch)
Hachette eliminates the position it created in 2012 for Evan Schnittman, EVP, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer. The publisher credits Schnittman with having instituted a number of structural changes and innovative approaches to print and digital sales.
Related: What Evan Schnittman Got Right About Enhanced Ebooks’ Problems

Hachette Ebooks Hold Momentum on Best-Seller List (DBW)
Some of the year’s best-selling ebooks reappear on this week’s best-seller list heading into the holiday shopping season, and Hachette expands its presence within the top ten after its titles gained some ground last week.

Macmillan Widens Access to Nature Content (CNet)
The Nature Group frames its new decision to allow subscribers of its scientific journals to share free, read-only files through its proprietary ReadCube platform as a move toward widening access to research. No doubt pressure from open access advocates led to the change, but not all of them are applauding it wholeheartedly.

Amazon Publishing Revises Terms in Europe (The Digital Reader)
In response to new tax laws due to take effect next year in the European Union, Amazon changes its KDP Select pricing protocol, now requiring authors to set prices for their titles in which the local value-added tax is included.

What Would a Bookstore-Library Hybrid Look Like? (Pub Perspectives)
That’s not a strictly theoretical question, considering the e-commerce platforms already incorporated into many libraries’ lending systems. But what about a more deliberate, comprehensive merging of the public and private, in the shared interests of advancing book culture and driving discovery and sales? One observer’s thoughts.

Amazon Isn’t Getting Physical After All…Yet (Quartz)
Rumors that Amazon might be opening up a physical location in New York City for the holiday shopping season began looking like a long shot last week, when the company took steps to lease an office building but made no mention of a retail space. Now it’s clear that a bricks-and-mortar Amazon store won’t be opening its doors–at least not in the immediate future.


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