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Kobo

Kobo appoints Tamblyn President, Chief Content Officer
April 8, 2014 | 12:25 pm

michale_tamblyn.jpgKobo, now probably Amazon's biggest rival in the ereader ecosystem realm, with Barnes & Noble wavering over the Nook and an also-ran outside the U.S., has just announced that Michael Tamblyn, hitherto its Chief Content Officer, has now had his position upgraded to the status of President and CCO. Seen here in an earlier video on TeleRead, Tamblyn is a founding member of Kobo's team, according to the company, and has "led the expansion of Kobo’s publisher relationships, content catalogue, and merchandising operations" since 2009. His new role will expand the content acquisition and business relationships development he is currently engaged...

Kobo dominance in Canada: good luck or good business?
March 9, 2014 | 2:32 pm

Kobo Dominance in CanadaI've long chalked up Kobo's success in Canada at least partly to good business: they're aces at local content, have a huge presence in Canadian retail thanks to their origins as a subsidiary of our major bookstore chain, Indigo, and recently they were acquired by the deep pockets at Rakuten, a leader in the Asian market. Two recent articles, however, suggest that Kobo's successes to date have been more a result of good timing than anything else. Nate at The Digital Reader wrote a great summary of Kobo's recent wranglings with the Canadian Competition Bureau. A day later, Michael at GoodeReader...

Serbinis to be Replaced at Kobo
February 5, 2014 | 9:15 am

koboAs reported in today's Morning Links, numerous sources are reporting that Michael Serbinis, who has been with Kobo since the beginning, is being replaced by a Rakuten veteran named Takahito Aiki, who was recently head of a Telecom and will be relocating to Canada to assume the post. Serbinis will remain on board as vice-chairman and founder. I think this could be good news. I have met Mr. Serbinis a handful of times and liked him, and I like Kobo's local partnerships and content strategies. But their customer service needs work, and I have always felt they were unconscionably slow at...

Why is the Kobo App Still So Annoying?
January 14, 2014 | 4:30 pm

kobo appI got an email yesterday from my esteemed editor Juli, wondering if I might be interested in commenting on the updated Kobo app, seeing as I am in Canada, aka The Country Where Kindle is Actually Not the Number One Brand. My initial response was 'ugh, do I have to?' I remembered the Kobo app as being clunky, crash-prone and difficult to navigate. But...maybe it had changed? Maybe it wasn't quite so bad anymore, several 'updates' since I last checked it out? Alas, no such luck. Kobo is still a frustrating and annoying app to use. I am not sure what...

Kobo Glo: A Port After the Storm
December 24, 2013 | 10:15 am

Kobo GloI'm sitting in a coffee shop right now, typing this on my phone (which is sharing a power bar with six other phones) and enjoying my first hot drink since Saturday. We have had no power since then and this toasted s'mores hot chocolate is the first thing I have eaten that's not a peanut butter sandwich. I don't know why the coffee shop has power and we, a few blocks away, don't. But this little store has been a lifeline today for people in the area---hot food and drink, the sharing of news and gossip about the storm we had...

Kobo Kissing the Blarney Stone with Eason Partnership in Ireland
October 31, 2013 | 12:26 pm

I'm not going to draw too many self-serving connections between the announcement that Kobo, fresh from its "finest hour," is about to enter the Irish market, and the news that the Republic may be about to abolish its Censorship of Publications board. (Less fear of being burned in Eire now, after all.) So anyway, Kobo has announced a partnership with leading Irish bookstore chain Eason & Son Ltd., "largest and oldest standing book retailer in Ireland ... with more than 60 outlets through Ireland and Northern Ireland." Under the deal, Kobo devices, including the Kobo Aura, Kobo Glo, and Kobo Arc...

“Kobo’s Finest Hour”? Really?
October 28, 2013 | 12:19 pm

KoboIt's rare to see a kneejerk panic reaction to populist scaremongering hailed as " a courageous stance," but then the whole debacle of Kobogate and the WHSmith ebook sales shutdown has been rich in cheap prudish posturing and unwitting self-condemnation, and I don't expect this to be the last shameful instance. Now we have Michael Tamblyn, Chief Content Officer at Kobo, going on record via "A Kobo Writing Life Update" to give his official post facto version of events. And we have John McKnight, "a comic novelist as well as the author of the notorious self-help manual "a comic novelist...

Thoughts on the Whole Kobo/WH Smith Situation
October 15, 2013 | 11:25 am

Kobo Nate from The Digital Reader took me to task last night in his comment on my post about Kobo's letter explaining why books had been removed from the store. I think he was right to do so, and I realized this morning that I had reacted as many had yesterday, without sitting down and thinking things through. I read many articles yesterday, and I spent a couple of hours browsing KBoards and Mobile Read, absorbing the reactions. There was solid information being shared, and some that might have been misinformation. I read a couple of articles that said Kobo and WH...

Kobo Has Sent Email to Authors/Partners on Writing Life
October 14, 2013 | 7:24 pm

Kobo Writing Life As a self-published author on Kobo, I just received this email: To our Kobo Writing Life and self-publishing partners: As you may be aware, there has been a significant amount of negative media attention in the UK regarding offensive material that became available across a number of eBook platforms. Kobo was included in the reports from media and we are taking immediate action to resolve an issue that is the direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies. In order to address the situation Kobo is taking the following steps: 1.       We are removing titles in question from the...

Kobo Removing All Books Published Through Draft2Digital
October 14, 2013 | 11:35 am

books The hurricane surrounding the self-published erotica overreaction in the media continues. Several authors on KBoards are reporting that all their titles (erotica or otherwise) that have been uploaded to Kobo via Draft2Digital have been removed. Here's the draft of a letter received from Draft2Digital by one of the KBoards authors: "We have discovered that over the weekend Kobo removed all books published through our account. While we have received no official word concerning this issue, we believe this is related to recent articles in the media concerning erotica titles available at WHSmith and Kobo’s storefronts. However, Kobo’s response to this situation seems to...

Morning Roundup: Is Kobo’s new e-reader already obsolete?
September 5, 2013 | 8:15 am

KoboWhen Will We See Mass Adoption of Digital Classrooms? September 2014 (Digital Book World) To give you a sense of how big a market we’re talking about, in just the U.S., nearly $1 trillion was spent on education by the government, according to federal budgets and the Census. Some chunk of that went to content and other learning materials — which are being disrupted and can be replaced by technology…or so is the hope. * * * Kobo's New Premium eReader Went From Cutting Edge to Obsolete in Only a Week (The Digital Reader) If you pre-ordered Kobo’s newest ereader because it was a...

Morning Roundup: Kobo Suspends Usage of Goodreads API
August 30, 2013 | 8:57 am

KoboKobo Suspends Usage of Goodreads API (Good e-Reader) Kobo is one of the largest online booksellers in the world and currently has over 3.5 million titles available. Over the course of the last few years the company has been depending on GoodReads for book reviews and ratings. This has populated millions of titles with user generated data that influences peoples buying decisions. Michael Tamblyn, Chief Content Officer at Kobo has just confirmed that the company has suspended the GoodReads API. * * * Why Kobo Thinks Customers Will Buy Fancy E-Book Readers (Fast Company) While Barnes & Noble plays ambivalent about the future of...