New York, Meet Kobo…

With Kobo and US publishers, it’s been a long-distance relationship. Lots of planes, a river of email, plenty of phone and Skype. And like all long-distance relationships, it starts to get a little tired. Another meal at the airport. You wonder if they’re seeing someone else. You want more. Someone has to move. We asked the publishers if they could all move to Toronto. They said something about the lease on their Manhattan apartment and how they were focused on their career right now. It looks like it’s up to us. So I am happy to announce that Kobo has opened an office in New York, focused on publisher relations and content acquisition for the US market, and even happier to introduce the first two members of our New York team.

Jan Ehrlich joins Kobo as Director, Newspapers and Magazines (NYC). Most recently Director of Business Development for Texterity, she also ran periodical publisher relations for Special Data Processing, and held various roles at Playboy, Children’s Television Workshop,  and Forbes. Jan’s deep understanding of the economics, relationships, and requirements of newspapers and magazines in the digital age is essential as we look beyond books to other forms of reading and other types of publishers.

Ami Greko joins Kobo as Senior Manager, Vendor Relations, Books (NYC). Most recently Director of Business Development for GetGlue, she also managed digital marketing for Macmillan, was Marketing Director for Folio Literary Management, and held positions with Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Viking Penguin. We like Ami because she is a cross-media relationship builder and a tireless promoter of digital reading, with a rare combo of startup, publishing, literary agency, and PR. Having passed our test of constructing a new publisher agreement out of twine and bits of scavenged metal, we are very happy to have her on board.

(We’re still looking for some more NYC hires. Check out “Content & Vendor Management” at Jobs with Kobo.)

Publisher relationships are something we take very seriously at Kobo. We have always believed that building the digital reading market is something that should be done with publishers, rather than done to publishers. The more we can collaborate, the more information we can exchange, the better it will be for publishers, for Kobo and for the readers we serve. Our work with US-based publishers is growing at a frantic pace as we continue to add new vendors, deepen our retail relationships, innovate on devices, and manage the intricacies of agency relationships. Expect to see us in person more often, at more conferences, running and sponsoring events and generally making more noise. We look forward to growing our New York team as we continue to push the boundaries of this amazing market.