Kobo may be small, but they’re scrappy, and clearly not afraid of the Author’s Guild. They don’t have the infrastructure to combat Amazon’s free Prime ebooks, but they are offering a modified program, sort of like the Kobo “Book of the Month” club. You get your choice of 3 books in January, and it sounds like you’ll get a similar choice each month. Kobo provides the promo code, you pick the book, and then it’s happy reading time!
Unlike Amazon’s program, Kobo’s is obviously much smaller. If they offer 3 per month, that’s only a 36-book program. However, this is free with a Kobo Touch, instead of a $79 yearly subscription. Plus if this is successful, it very well may expand to more choices in the future. I do think that Kobo is skating on the edge of incurring the wrath of the Author’s Guild. Kobo is “giving away” titles just like Amazon does, which trips over the same complaints the Guild had about Amazon Prime. On the other hand, Kobo doesn’t have any major publishers on board, and tops on their list is author and independent publishing advocate J. A. Konrath, so it’s unlikely the participants have a problem with the program!
This (again) leaves B&N as the odd man out. They don’t have a free book program with purchase, or deep pockets (or a deep pocketed owner). Right now Kobo is a distant enough competitor that it’s ok…but with new features, price drops on hardware, and a newly healthy bank account, what will Kobo bring out next?
You can find out more about Kobo’s Book Club program by hitting their website and reading the press release below!
Kobo 2012 Book Club Launches – Offered for Free with Purchase of the Kobo eReader Touch Edition
There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy: Popular Kobo Touch eReaders Now Offer Even More Value – Include a Free Book Every Month
TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2011 – Kobo, a global leader in eReading with over 5.6 million users worldwide, announced the launch of the Kobo 2012 Book Club, designed for new owners of the company’s popular Kobo eReader Touch Edition family of E Ink devices. Available to residents of Canada and the United States who activate their Kobo eReader Touch or Kobo Touch with Offers today through March 31, 2012, regardless of where the unit was purchased, the new book club offers a gift of a free book for each month of 2012 to Touch eReader owners who have enrolled in the program.
Made possible through Kobo’s collaborative work with a community of distinguished publishers and writers, the Kobo 2012 Book Club is a great way for readers to expand their digital library, find new publishers and discover new authors. The program also brings value to publishers, allowing them to introduce readers to new authors, great books and provide avenues to promote their publishing house.
The initial list of participating publishers include:
- e-Reads: A trail-blazing reprinter of out-of-print genre and general fiction and nonfiction by leading authors
- F+W Publications Inc.: A major source for special interest consumer hobby and enthusiast subject area books
- Gooseberry Patch: A publisher that offers a rich selection of homestyle, family-friendly cookbooks that are now recognized as national bestsellers
- Harvard Business Review Press: An idea-driven publisher, HBR Press provides books and digital tools enriched with rigorous insights and best practices to help professionals lead themselves and their organizations more effectively
- Kensington Publishing Corp.: An independent U.S. publisher of hardcover, trade and mass market paperback books – plus digital books
- New Word City: Specializing in short-form eBooks on a variety of topics, such as biographies, business, fiction, food, history, sports, and travel
Writers directly participating in the Kobo 2012 Book Club include:
- Blake Crouch
- J.A. Konrath
- Shayna Krishnasamy
- Phyllis Smallman
Kobo will continue to expand its list of participating publishers and authors in the coming months.
“Kobo has an amazing family of eReaders and with the launch of the 2012 Book Club there’s never been a better time to buy a Kobo Touch eReader,” said Michael Tamblyn, Executive Vice President Content, Sales & Merchandising, Kobo. “Our Kobo Touch eReaders bring the ultimate in eReading value to readers around the world, and this new book club is another example of how we can take that great experience and make it even better for Kobo Touch eReader owners.”
THE KOBO TOUCH FAMILY OF eREADERS KEEPS ON GIVING
The Kobo Touch eReader continues to offer a best-in-class reading experience with top features, superior flexibility and the company’s innovative Reading Life social platform to readers around the world.
The Kobo Touch offers unmatched customization to the passionate reading community. Delivering an amazing touch experience though infrared technology users can swipe or tap to quickly turn pages, the intuitive touch interface allows readers to highlight a favorite phrase or passage, look up a word, zoom into an image, increase the font size, and navigate easily through a book and their entire digital library. Featuring adjustable margins and line spacing, seven fonts (and the ability to add unlimited fonts by just dragging them onto the device) – each with 25 size settings – the Kobo eReader Touch Edition makes sitting down with a great read a pleasure.
Built on an open platform, Kobo Touch allows consumers to read eBooks from other stores that use the ePub format – plus read PDF documents and books on a growing number of Kobo eReaders and apps. The versatile Kobo eReader Touch Edition let users read ePub, PDF and MOBI format eBooks; view JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF images; review TXT, HTML and RTF materials; and enjoy CBZ and CBR comic book formats. Consumers can also easily borrow and read eBooks from the local public library.
With battery life of up to one month, and storage of up to 30,000 books with expandable memory, the Kobo eReader Touch Edition delivers the freedom to read anywhere, at any time.
DISCOVER SOCIAL READING – WITH READING LIFE™
With Kobo Reading Life – the most comprehensive social eReading experience and an industry-first social platform – consumers can discover their reading style and gain insight into their unique reading fingerprint with Reading Life Stats – track the minutes per reading session of a current read, the number of pages turned, plus see an overview of books completed in their library. Readers can also earn fun and exciting awards and share their Reading Life with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
Newly launched Reading Life feature, Kobo Pulse - connects users reading the same book. So, book reviews, comments and conversations can be shared in real-time with other users on Facebook, Twitter or within the book itself.
ACCESS MILLIONS OF TITLES
With over 2.2 million titles, including 1 million free books – Kobo offers one of the largest eBook stores worldwide. Titles range from the New York Times’ Bestseller List, the hottest new releases, thrillers, romance, newspapers, magazines and more – there is something for everyone.
HOW TO JOIN THE KOBO 2012 BOOK CLUB
The Kobo 2012 Book Club is available to residents of Canada and the U.S. who activate their new Kobo Touch or Kobo Touch with Special Offers today through March 31, 2012. To participate, users can simply sign-in to their free Kobo account from their new Kobo Touch before March 31, 2012 and ensure that the account is set-up to receive email updates from Kobo. As a Book Club member, for each month of 2012, Kobo Touch owners will receive an email with Kobo’s Book Club pick for that month and a promo code to get one of the books for free. January 2012′s book club selections include: “Pride and Prejudice – The Wild and Wanton Edition”; “HBR’s 10 Must Reads: On Managing People”; and “Star Wars Vs. Star Trek.”
For more information on the Kobo 2012 Book Club, visit http://blog.kobobooks.com/
kobo-2012-book-club. The Kobo Touch eReader is available at leading retailers in Canada and the United States, including Indigo, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Sears and Buy.com. More information on Kobo’s family of eReaders can be found at www.kobo.com.
About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.5 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers – one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world. Read Freely – Kobo believes consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and has attracted millions of readers from over 100 countries across the globe. Kobo has top ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and MacOS, and is the eReading application of choice for leading tablet OEMs. Kobo eReaders, including the Kobo Touch and the newly launched Kobo Vox are available at leading retailers, including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Future Shop, WHSmith, FNAC, Collins Booksellers and Whitcoull’s. Kobo’s innovative Reading Life is an industry-first comprehensive social eReading experience – Kobo users can earn awards simply for time spent reading and encouraging others. Kobo is backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music Inc., Cheung Kong Holdings, and institutional investors.