On the heels of a major funding announcement and re-brand, Kobo (previously Shortcovers) today launched in the UK. Kobo is an eReading service for smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and eReaders. Kobo’s use of open standards like EPUB and its unique cloud-based service enables consumers to build their ebook libraries without being locked in to any one device. Kobo also keeps all of a reader’s devices in sync, enabling them to read from device to device. Since it launched in North America in early 2009, Kobo has been downloaded by more than one million users in 200 countries. The UK launch is the first region-specific launch for Kobo outside of North America.
Kobo features eBooks from leading UK publishers such as Random House UK, Penguin Group UK, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster UK and Faber & Faber. With these partnerships Kobo will have nearly two million titles available in the UK – with bestsellers from £8.99 and less. Kobo is working with the Independent Publishers Guild to ensure that regional and independent presses are represented alongside major publishing houses. The service will include a bestseller list unique to the UK store and UK titles featured prominently on the site.
“The UK presents a huge opportunity for Kobo to showcase its global capabilities,” said Michael Tamblyn, Kobo’s Executive Vice President of content, sales and merchandising. “Our focus is on assembling the world’s best catalogue of content for our readers and delivering a fantastic purchasing and reading experience on any device a customer chooses. We will also provide readers in the UK with a huge selection of content. The UK is the first of many international launches for Kobo this year.”
“The market for eBooks in Britain is growing fast and readers are looking for choice and the best possible experience. We are delighted that Kobo, with its excellent technology across the mobile spectrum and its deep commitment to authors and readers, is launching in the UK. Bloomsbury is working closely with Kobo to ensure that our publishing programme, including best selling titles such as Ben Macintyre’s Operation Mincemeat and Liz Gilbert’s Committed, is available as widely and as easily as possible”, said Richard Charkin, Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Through its new strategic partners, Kobo has opened distribution channels in the U.S., Canada, UK, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and other territories. Today, Kobo’s eReading service includes support for leading popular smartphones like the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm Pre, and Android devices. In addition, Kobo’s support of EPUB downloads allows anyone to use Kobo as their eBook store on other eInk based eReaders, laptops, netbooks and, coming soon, tablet computers.
The Kobo application is available for free download on the App Store, BlackBerry AppWorld, Palm Pre App Catalog, Android Marketplace, or simply by visiting www.kobobooks.com. Kobo features thousands of free eBooks, so users can try eReading for free.
For more information or to download Kobo, visit www.kobobooks.com.
About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, REDgroup Retail, and Cheung Kong Holdings. Kobo believes consumers should be able to read any eBook on any device. With a catalog of over two million eBooks, and an open platform, Kobo enables retailers, device manufacturers and mobile operators to bring the joy of eReading to customers everywhere. For more information, visit www.kobobooks.com.