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Canada's Kobo Takes Digital Book Selling International

|Aug 9|magazine6 min read

 

Kobo, the Canadian eReading company, is at the forefront of the ferociously competitive andr apidly growing international digital books market.

Kobo’s effective use of the market’s massive opportunities for global expansion and innovation has garnered the company triple digit growth since it first started in 2009. With impressive sales figures like 400 per cent growth in eBook downloads,160 percent growth in eReader sales and 280 percent growth in the number of people reading with Kobo, Kobo’s unique digital book solutions are proving to be popular with consumers and book retailers.

Kobo offers both book readers and booksellers digital book services on unlimited devices, a social networking community and platform Reading Life for book lovers and authors, and partnerships with global bookselling retailers.

“We knew from the very beginning that we would have to be an international company and thus we chose a business model that uses strong partnerships with local retailers. We were built for partnership and have that in our DNA as we want this to be a revolution that happens with the retailers as opposed to something that happens to retailers,” explains Michael Tamblyn, EVP of Content, Sales & Merchandising at Kobo.

After setting up shop in its native Canada, Kobo opened up its services first to English speaking countries like the U.S., Australia and the U.K. and then proceeded to non-English speaking countries in Europe like Germany. Kobo fits into an underserved niche in the digital market as the company partners and collaborates with local retailers, a practice that larger companies like Amazon and Apple leave open.

The wildfire adoption of eBooks internationally has surprised the whole industry, with consumers in all countries showing an average of 10 percent digital sales in 90 days, a transition Tamblyn said the company had expected to happen over a period of years, not days.

Kobo continues to innovate to provide more services and a better reading experience for consumers and has recently released a new service called Writing Life which empowers authors to sell their books directly to customers. The growth of the self-publishing sector led Kobo to work with authors to bring their books to Kobo’s thousands of readers.

“We take that spirit of collaboration to publishers, authors and all of the other members of the book industry as well. Whether it is sharing more data,providing more visibility or providing new tools to people like authors, Kobo helps members of the book industry take advantage of the eBook Revolution,” explains Tamblyn.

Kobo is also eyeing additional countries to expand its service to and is looking forward to sharing its comprehensive and exceptional reading solutions to more far-flung readers.