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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”...

Kobo Writing Life Adds New E-Book Creation Tools
July 23, 2013 | 3:06 pm

Kobo Writing LifeDigital Book World is one of several outlets reporting that Kobo had added new e-book creation tools to its Writing Life platform. The report claims more than 17,000 authors have already published with Kobo's program. What they've added is an online WYSIWYG creation tool which simplifies creating and editing books. An intriguing development! More in the press release....

Kobo for Blackberry 10 Now Available
July 9, 2013 | 12:08 pm

KoboKobo has announced via their blog that Blackberry 10 users can now download a Kobo app of their very own. Users of the Z10 and Q10 models have a new app available to them with all of Kobo's signature features, including cross-device syncing, day and night modes and Reading Life stats. They also get a free book (Jessica Hagy's "How to Be Interesting After You Graduate" just for downloading. Happy reading!...

Kobo teams with New Zealand Society of Authors for Kiwi E-Publishing prize
July 8, 2013 | 1:15 pm

KoboAs part of its strong push Down Under, digital reader and e-book major Kobo has launched the Kobo/NZ Authors E-Publishing prize, through its Kobo Writing Life identity, in association with the New Zealand Society of Authors. The competition "offers two budding New Zealand authors the opportunity to be professionally published in e-book form through the Kobo Writing Life platform and offered for sale throughout New Zealand. " Kobo Writing Life, Kobo's answer to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, claims to "reach out to millions of readers in over 190 countries." Kobo has in fact already built strong market share in non-U.S. markets, and...

Kobo Mini on sale for $39.99 until July 18
June 23, 2013 | 1:09 pm

Want to do a “little” reading? Kobo has just put its Kobo Mini 5” e-ink reader on sale for 50% off until July 18th—$39.99 rather than $79.99. Light, touch-sensitive, Wi-FI capable, and 2 GB of on-board storage. It even has a built-in very basic web browser akin to the Kindle’s. Of course, it’s tied to the Kobo store for book buying, but Kobo readers work great for unencrypted EPUB (such as everything Baen sells), as well Adobe DRM including Barnes & Noble’s. So if you’re the sort of person who keeps your e-books from everywhere in your Calibre library, and doesn’t...

E-Reader Price War Breaks Out in UK as Kobo Chases Nook Down
June 17, 2013 | 9:15 am

KoboWHSmith, the UK high street bookstore and stationery chain, has hit a new low in e-reader retailing—price-wise—with a deal on the Kobo Mini e-reader for just £29.99 ($47.07), down from its original £49.99 ($78.45) retail price. WHSmith, known to Brits as just Smiths, is also handing out £5.00 ($7.85) gift vouchers on till receipts to take the price down even further, to £24.99 ($39.22). This compares to a current U.S. price for the Kobo Mini of $79.99 at BestBuy, and follows a similar cut on the Nook Simple Touch last month to £29.00 which led to the device selling out at...