Home » Bookstores, Ebooks, Kobo » Kobo, ABA Renew Partnership For Another Year Even Though Indie Booksellers aren’t Selling Many eBooks

Kobo, ABA Renew Partnership For Another Year Even Though Indie Booksellers aren’t Selling Many eBooks

28 July 2015

From The Digital Reader:

If you were surprised in late May when Kobo revived its defunct affiliate partnership with US indie booksellers then this next piece of news will knock your socks off.

Late last month the American Bookseller Association announced that its contract with Kobo was being extended for another year. Originally signed in 2012, that contract was set to last three years and included an automatic one year renewal clause, which has now gone into effect.

. . . .

According to the ABA’s Indiebound website, around 500 booksellers in the US (out of 1,700 or so ABA members) take part in the Kobo affiliate deal. It’s not known just how many ebooks they’re selling, but if a recent report in the Denver Post is any sign then this deal is not having much of an impact on the ebook market:

Eight years after Amazon released the first Kindle, surviving independent bookstores are now selling e-books — and finding that no one really wants the ones they’re offering.

“It’s not even a drop in the bucket really,” said Arsen Kashkashian, inventory manager at Boulder Bookstore. “Our sales are up for the year and they’re coming from physical books.”

Boulder Bookstore sells e-books through Kobo and was previously part of a Google eBook deal. But Kashkashian said neither deal was “any good.” He estimates the store has about 10 customers who regularly purchase e-books, with a few other occasional downloads.

“I don’t have exact numbers but let’s say we make $10 off each hardback copy of (Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”). E-books make 50 cents,” he said.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader and thanks to Michael for the tip.

Bookstores, Ebooks, Kobo

7 Comments to “Kobo, ABA Renew Partnership For Another Year Even Though Indie Booksellers aren’t Selling Many eBooks”

  1. No, it seems Amazon is better at selling ebooks …

  2. Going to the store to buy an ebook…

    I’m told (I think Thurber wrote about it) that when houses first began to electrify, more than a few people would stop up the outlets for the fear that electricity would leak into the room.

    • Yes, I remember Thurber on that. An uncle (?) or aunt would go around the house, plugging things into any vacant outlet, convinced they had stopped a dangerous and costly leak.

      I still love Thurber. Always will.

  3. I’ve always liked the idea of the Kobo program but I don’t see it catching on. Whenever I find a chance to mention it in conversation nobody knows what it is or what I’m talking about.

    Whens the last time you saw a commercial for Kobo or the Kobo/bookstore program? Any ads in the paper or popular magazines? Have you ever heard it mentioned outside of TPV or another blog that deals with publishing?

    I love Kobo. I think they have a great store. A nice, easy-to-read dashboard and a user friendly upload, and of coarse the map, love the map. The people I deal with there are great. I mention Kobo in every ad I run or Bookbub promo I do.

    But they always come in last.

    I can’t help but think they need to get their name out there more.

    • My understanding (I haven’t seen it for myself; I have a lifetime total of one sale through Kobo) is that Kobo is very weak in the U.S., but has a significant percentage of the ebook markets in Canada, Australia, Asia (especially Japan), and Europe (though the Tolino is starting to take over their European market).

      So I don’t think Kobo is going away any time soon, but their business model doesn’t seem to work in the U.S. (I’ve often wondered if they would be a good place for translations, though)

  4. I contacted local bookstores that sell ebooks via KOBO. I offered 3 books free as a Special promotion for their store. I sent hundreds of emails. Not a single person replied.

    Bookstore owners probably have NO idea of how to advertise or sell KOBO ebooks. Or perhaps they feel it will drive them out of business to do so?

    KOBO also needs to work on their site and give Indie Authors better ways to promote. So far, I can’t figure out how to use KOBO to promote my books.

    Apple is the same way.

    Amazon by FAR, gives authors more tools to get their books sold than any other retailer.

  5. I guess it’s my fault, but I can’t see why anyone would go to a physical store to buy something they can easily get online. Probably for a much better price, as well.

    It seems Kobo is like other Amazon competitors: they expect to sell a lot of books simply by existing. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. If Barnes and Noble, an established company that has sold books for years, can’t get their act together, I doubt anyone else will, either.

    Amazon is going to end up having that monopoly they’re accused of being, and it won’t be because they’re evil, but simply because the competition can’t compete.

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