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Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Education |

Kobo: eBooks platform more social

Kobo: eBooks platform more social

Maybe in Spain do not hear much about them, but while in Latin America are beginning to see some e-readers from Kobo, this is becoming more known by book lovers. Kobo platform is well known in other countries , which offers a catalog of free and paid books, self-publishing tool, several applications to read their books on almost any device and a good range of own e-readers or tablets. Your eReader now ranks third in the stage of digital publishing, behind the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

His name is an anagram of the word “book” but “kobo” also is the fraction of naira, the Nigerian currency (naira are 100 1) and has different meanings in Japanese (element of the tea ceremony, a distant person , a jib, an old tree.)

Kobo was born in Toronto in 2009 as a subsidiary of Indigo Books & Music, a large Canadian publishing and support of other technology companies like Borders, REDgroup Retail, and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd.

From birth his motto is Read Freely, “Read in freedom”, and one of its premises is considered that the reader should have the freedom to read on any device when and how you want. Based on that, but developed its own platform of open standards, which is present in 190 countries and reaches 10 million users. In January this year, Rakuten bought it, the company behind the largest online store in Japan, and its development continued expansion plans in Europe, where they opened shops in Germany and France, announced an agreement for months with Mondadori in Italy, and in the UK were associated with WHSmith , a great English publisher and distributor, but also the company that created the codes SBN (Standard Book Number), which were later adopted internationally as ISBN.

They have a catalog of 3 million references, among which are best-sellers, and holds degrees in over 60 languages, among which is included the Spanish. A million of its ebooks are available for free. In addition to their own e-readers, has free reading applications for other environments, such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows.

Kobo has gained ground without making much noise, thanks to its policy of low prices and help more partners has continued to grow. One difference from Kobo is its low price and the ability to read ePub format with Adobe DRM, the standard “de facto” in the Spanish market.

Kobo reading and social

From the beginning Kobo has bet heavily on social networks and social reading. They believe that although reading is practiced individually, readers have always wanted to comment on what they read and do recommend communities where authors and works. And since then have been able to put that into their ecosystem because social functions into their applications are well integrated and one of its strengths.

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Reading Life is the name of the system that collects statistics on your Kobo reading habits, counting number of pages read, books started and finished on time of day you read, among others. Users have the ability to share or not share that data with your community. The system also has badges and awards.

One of the features I find most interesting is called Kobo Pulse: is a small hidden button on the screen of each page of an ebook that lets you see what people are reading this book while you and gives you the option to chat with them (within the book) anytime. The button gets brighter and bigger when there are more comments or activity. This can be hidden when we want to keep the concentration immersed in reading.

Furthermore, Kobo books can be downloaded to read on other devices other than Kobo and also can give. Among the options, as in other readers, is marking the pages and share on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, Kobo ePubs or PDFs to transfer to our e-reader using Calibre.

The Kobo e-readers

Besides having its ebooks platform, Kobo sells its own e-readers and tablets and has a very attractive range.

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  • Kobo Touch : chosen by Wired magazine as the best e-reader market touch, with 6-inch screen and 185 grams.
  • Kobo Glo : electronic ink reader but illuminated by Comfortlight technology to continue reading in low light.
  • Kobo Mini : the smallest only 5 inches and 134 grams. Literally thousand books in a pocket.
  • Kobo Arc : full color tablet with 7-inch dual-core processor to take advantage of multitasking ability.

EReaders can be bought in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, United Kingdom and in online stores as in Spain.

Kobo Writing Life and the distribution and sale of ebooks

Kobo met because it has a very interesting platform for and marketing ebooks, called Kobo Writing Life , where independent authors and small publishers can manage their own ebooks. Kobo delivers 70% of the price of the book to the publisher and not charge a fee for distribution. No requests exclusivity but the price must be equal-to or less-to the sale elsewhere online. Writing Life has been launched in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Dutch.

Thus, Kobo distributes all kinds of titles, from independent authors or famous writers, free or paid, as well as through its online bookstore, Kobo Books , and through its channel network, which includes agreements with local suppliers or by country: Chapters / Indigo in Canada, FNAC in France, WHSmith in the UK, the Independent Booksellers Association of America or Mondadori in Italy, among others.

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