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Kobo

Kobo Releases BlackBerry App & Hires Chief Marketing Officer

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Kobo has released a Blackberry version of its eReading app and has also hired Colin Bettam as its new chief marketing officer.

The new app is optimized for the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones, Blackberry’s touchscreen phones that launched this past spring. The app joins Kobo’s iOS and Android apps. Blackberry users can read and purchase eBooks through the new app.  It includes access to browse more than 3.5 million eBooks. Customers that are already using Kobo on another device, say their iPad or Android tablet, can automatically sync their library across devices with the new app. As with their other apps, the Blackberry app lets users customize the font styles and it includes Reading Life, a tool that lets users track their reading habits and earn awards for reading.

Bettam, the former VP of Marketing at LG Electronics, will lead up the company’s marketing efforts. According to his LinkedIn profile, Bettam attended the University of Colorado and has also worked for Filter, and McCain Foods Limited.

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Kobo Launches New $169 eReader: The Kobo Aura HD

Kobo has introduced a new high resolution eInk eReader called the Kobo Aura HD, offering a $169.99 answer to Amazon’s $179.99 Kindle Paperwhite 3G. Like other Kobo devices, the new device lets readers access ePUB titles a format not available on Kindle devices.

The new eInk device from Kobo has a 6.8″ screen which boasts a 265 dpi resolution, slightly more than the Kindle Paperwhite which has 212 ppi on a 6.7″ display. The new Kobo weighs slightly more than the Amazon device at 8.5 oz, compared with the 7.8 oz. Kindle.

The Kobo device has a 1GHz processor and claims to turn pages 25 percent faster than other devices. The new eReader comes with 4GB of storage though, owners can expand this up to 32GB. The Kindle has 2G and access to the Amazon Cloud.

Kobo claims that the new device’s battery life can last up to two months. It comes in a few colors including: ivory, espresso and onyx. The device goes on presale tomorrow on Kobo.com and through select retailers. Read more

Kobo To Acquire Aquafadas

Kobo has entered into an agreement to acquire digital publishing technology company Aquafadas in a deal whose terms were not disclosed.

Aquafadas offers publishers the tools to format magazines, comics and other types of content into rich media content. This includes the ability to make HTML5 content, plugins for InDesign and a comic book creation tool. With the acquisition, Kobo expands its rich media offerings. Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis, explained in a statement. “Digital Reading is rapidly evolving now to new rich media categories.  This transaction will strengthen both Kobo’s and Aquafadas position in our current markets and allow us to accelerate the growth of rich media with the Aquafadas Digital Publishing system.”

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten acquired the Canadian-based Kobo for $315 million earlier this year.

Kobo Adds Ups Royalties For Self-Published Authors

Kobo is offering a bonus for self-published authors that  use its Kobo Writing Life platform, giving them an additional 10 percent in royalties on applicable titles published during a designated period this fall. New users will qualify by signing up during this period. Kobo Life authors who already use the platform, will automatically have this bonus applied to their accounts for the sale of their eligible titles.

Check out the terms and conditions (PDF version): “Kobo Writing Life authors will receive 80% rather than 70% for any IPP Term eligible titles. Promotion will be applied to any sales of Kobo Writing Life titles occurring between September 1, 2012 and November 30, 2012. All existing Kobo Writing Life titles will automatically be included in this promotion.”

Kobo launched the Writing Life platform in June at BookExpo America. Since then, Kobo is reporting that the portal has seen a 700 percent increase in sales for its self-published titles.

Kobo Opens Up eBook Store In Japan

Canadian eReading company Kobo has opened up an eBook store in Japan and will introduce its eReaders to the country on July 19th. Kobo eReaders go on presale today  through the new Japanese Kobo e-commerce site for ¥7,980 or $100 US.

The news comes as Amazon has its own plans to enter the Japanese eBook market. The company recently listed Kindles in Amazon’s Japanese store explaining that the devices are coming soon.

Kobo’s business strategy has always been to push into the global markets and already has stores in Canada, the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, among other places. Japan is an obvious next move for the company, because in January, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten bought Kobo for $315 million in cash. Read more

Do You Want Pinterest, TripAdvisor and other Networks on Your Facebook Timeline?

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The Internet’s transition from user-generated content to user-curated content continues as Facebook adds some new apps to its timeline. The social network announced in a blog post this morning that timeline apps will be available for Foodspotting, Foodily, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, Rotten Tomatoes, Pose, Kobo, Gogobot, TripAdvisor and other emerging social networks.

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Kobo Vox eReader Android Tablet Puts Social into Reading

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The color ebook reader tablet market is getting very crowded this fall. Amazon’s Kindle Fire looks like the ebook reader tablet to beat at $199 and launched today. There’s also Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet at a slightly pricer $249 (it has more hardware resources). And then, there’s the Kobo Vox eReader that has its launch event tomorrow (Nov. 16) and priced at $199.99. It has a 7-inch multi-touch color display that, Kobo claims, is optimized for outdoor reading. This Android based eReader tablet (like both the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet) also has a web browser, email client, 8GB memory, a 7-hour battery life and its own app store.
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What of Kobo eReader After Borders Closes? Kobo Provides Reassuring Commentary

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Just two months ago, Borders announced the latest round of products from their ebook device partner Kobo.

Borders Expands Partnership with Kobo to Offer New Cutting Edge eReading Technology; Now Taking Pre-Orders for New Kobo eReader Touch Edition on Borders.com

Borders is now getting ready to shutter all of its stores and shut down operations. What does it mean for Kobo and its eReader? Kobo issued a statement on this situation this week. Here are the key points from their statement.

- While Borders is one of the early investors in Kobo, it holds only a minority stake in Kobo, approximately 11 percent. The Borders shares are subject to the terms of the Kobo shareholders’ agreement which, among other things, restricts their transfer or disposition.

- Borders serves as part of Kobo’s distribution in the U.S. along with Best Buy, Walmart, Sears and other top retailers. <- Said another way: Borders is not Kobo’s only retail partner

- Kobo does not rely on Borders for content.

- For those Borders customers who haven’t transferred their eBook libraries to Kobo, the process is quick and easy. Borders customers can visit kobo.to/bmigrate to transfer their Borders eBook library to Kobo. No additional steps are required to continue reading on your Kobo eReader. For those Borders customers that are using Borders apps to access their eBook libraries, visit kobo.com to download a free Kobo eReading app for your computer, smartphone or tablet.

- Owners of Kobo eReaders will continue to use their Kobo eReader as usual, and be able to browse and shop for new titles in the Kobo Store with no interruption or change in service

The main message is that while Kobo has lost a big partner, customers using Kobo products can except to continue using it even after Borders closes its doors for the final time.

Kobo Is Running eReader Giveaway This Week

Kobo is running a post-holiday gifting promotion called the Kobo Get-a-Gift contest this week.

Until New Year’s Eve, Kobo customers can play the instant scratch ‘n win contest for the chance to instantly win an eReader, digital gift cards or coupons for up to 50% off of eBooks.

Consumers must register on the Kobo site in order to play, but once they are registered, they are eligible to play daily. Players will be entered into a Grand Prize drawing for the chance to win an eReader and a $500 eGift card for Kobo eBooks. Follow this link to play.

Kobo Wireless Demo Video


The holiday shopping season is here and eReaders and tablets are poised to be the hot items of the season.

To help you navigate through all of the devices out there, we have compiled our Holiday Gift Guide To eReaders list featuring the latest eReaders on the market. To help bring this list to life we will be sharing video demonstrations of a couple of the eReaders from our list.

The above video is a demonstration of the Kobo Wireless eReader. The eReader is has a 6-inch black-and-white eInk screen. It is Wi-Fi enabled and supports open formats including library books. It retails for $139.

To see our video demo of the Barnes & Noble Nook, follow this link.
To see our video demo of the Aluratek Libre eBook Reader PRO, follow this link.