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Kobo and the "Independent" Bookseller

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This is old news from an article by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg on thw WSJ.com from August of last year


"Kobo's agreement with the American Booksellers Association, the independents' trade group, is effective in October. The deal replaces one between the ABA and Google Inc., GOOG +0.67% which has said it would end an effort to sell e-books through independent booksellers in January 2013, declaring the program had failed to gain traction."

 

The article goes on to say;

 

"Independent booksellers, for their part, will be able to offer their customers e-books outside of the dominant digital booksellers, Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN +1.60%) Kindle store; Barnes & Noble Inc's (BKS -0.28%) Nook store and Apple Inc's (AAPL +2.86%) iBook store. Each of those companies sell their own devices on which e-books can be read."

 

The main problem with Kobo (owned by Rakuten), it that they are not price competive (specially for shipping) and few people are aware of the eBook platform.

 

The problem with the independent is that the Kobo derived websites all look the same and many offer no custom cotent -- it is just a store front for Kobo pushing the titles Kobo pushes.  So advertisers give Kobo money to promote books and the independent websites loose not only sales (because of higher prices), they loose their indepedence because of the control exerted by Kobo.

 

Rakuten, based in Japan is one of the world larget internet companies.  They own buy.com, Linkshare.com (an affiliate program manager I use to resell books from Barnes & Noble), most of Pinterest, and too much more to mention.

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