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“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...

My Kobo Wishlist
August 29, 2013 | 8:45 am

KoboIf you read yesterday's Morning Roundup, you saw the news about the new Kobo releases—a new Glo-sized Aura, and two new tablets, one of them a 10-incher. Amongst the fine print were also refreshes of the bookstore (with a customized portal for kids and some rudimentary parental controls) and the Reading Life platform (with Pocket integration). Sounds good, right? Well...yes. Sort of. My nearly year-old Glo is a nice piece of tech, don't get me wrong, but I can't help but feel like Kobo is focusing on the wrong sorts of improvements. What should they be doing better? Here are my top suggestions...

Morning Roundup: Come on, Kobo, a $399 tablet? Really?
August 29, 2013 | 8:37 am

KoboCome on, Kobo, a $399 tablet? Really? (GigaOM) E-reading company Kobo plans to launch a $399 tablet. Has it learned nothing from Barnes & Noble’s experience? * * * A Career Versus Publication (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) I was a bit stunned at the response to last week’s blog, not because the response was negative—it wasn’t—but because so many of you said that you had no idea that writing was a career choice. * * * Bad News: Court Says Cyberlocker and its Owner can be Liable for Copyright Infringement (Techdirt) While the full ruling won't be out for a few weeks, a Florida court has made a horrifically...

Morning Roundup: Kobo launches a fleet of new devices
August 28, 2013 | 9:02 am

KoboKobo Launches Fleet of New Devices, Kids eBook Store, Partnership with Pocket (Digital Book World) International ebook retailer and device-maker Kobo has launched a new fleet of e-reading and tablet devices along with an ebook store for children and a partnership with content aggregator Pocket — all aimed at helping Kobo win the fight for “people who have reading at the center of their lives,” according to Kobo chief content officer, Michael Tamblyn. * * * Can Slow-Moving Universities Adapt Quickly Enough to Change in the Digital Age? (Media Shift) The start of classes this fall will also bring renewed debate about what journalism and...

What’s Indigo up to? And what, exactly, is Indigotech?
August 16, 2013 | 3:43 pm

IndigoHot on the heels of Kobo's price drop on the Arc, I was at my local Indigo (a major Canadian bookstore chain) this afternoon to find the bargain books section shrunken, the fitness books crammed in with them, and in what used to be the large-ish lifestyle section where those books were before, a huge walled-off section bearing this message: Hmmm. I wonder if Indigo's impending press event is about more than just a refresh on the Arc? Clearly, Indigo intends to build a grander home for their Kobo kiosk behind that wall... Stay tuned! We'll post an update as soon as...

A Kobo in Every UK Post Office? WHSmith Might Do It
August 16, 2013 | 10:55 am

KoboThe UK's Royal Mail has been as hard hit as any other national mail service by the Internet and email, and in April 2012 split off its post office network to form Post Office Ltd. One of the ploys to support the business of the struggling post offices, first introduced in 2007, was to relocate post offices as franchises within branches of WHSmith, the UK's leading stationer and book retailer. Now it appears that WHSmith is levering its captive audience of post office customers to promote Kobo devices, which it has heavily promoted across its 621 high street stores ever since it...

Morning Roundup: How booksellers can combat showrooming; Kobo’s new 10-inch tablet; and more
July 29, 2013 | 8:26 am

KoboKobo Has a 10-Inch Tablet in Production Code Named Macallan (Good e-Reader Canadian-based Kobo has started to release a number of new e-Readers every year, and a growing tablet line. The Kobo Arc was released at the tail end of last year and saw modest success in Canada. This makes two different tablet computers they have released and they are trying new things with a 10 inch tablet that will be released in September. * * * Privacy as the Next Green Movement? Study Says Companies Will Compete on Data Practices (GigaOM) Remember the 1990′s when companies rushed to brand their products as “enviro-friendly”...

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