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Kobo

Kobo To Distribute McClatchy Newspapers in U.S.

Digital editions of The Sacramento Bee, The Miami Herald, The Fort Worth Star-TelegramThe Kansas City StarThe Charlotte ObserverThe News & Observer and El Nuevo Herald are now available for sale on the Kobo newsstand, thanks to a new partnership between Kobo and publisher the McClatchy Company.

The partnership expands the newspaper company’s existing digital presence. The McClatchy Company’s 30 daily newspapers are already available to Kindle and Nook users. The McClatchy Company papers join Kobo’s existing digital news shelf which already includes: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the Harvard Business Review.

To promote the new offering, Kobo customers can get a two-week free trial subscription to any of the company’s 30 daily newspapers.

Hunger Games Trilogy on Sale in the Kobo Store

Kobo is running a couple sale right now on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. If you’re planning to go watch the movie, here’s your chance to read the eBooks first.

The first sale is for the combined trilogy. It marks the price down to $5 (from $26). You’ll need to enter the code HungerGamesDeal5 while checking out in order to get the lower price.

Update: Kobo has informed us that they’ve replaced the above sale with the one below. The code above is no longer valid.

The other sale is a straight 85% off any single title in the trilogy. The code you’ll need for this sale is HungerGamesDeal.

Kobo Vox to Launch in Germany This Summer

It may have taken a while, but it looks like the Kobo Vox is finally going to be available in Kobo’s German eBookstore.

Thorsten Schroer, head of Kobo’s European operations, was interviewed recently by Teltarif, a German blog. According to Thorsten, the Vox will be shipping in Germany this summer. Retail price has not been set, but it is expected to be around 200 euros.

Kobo launched their German eBookstore in July 2011, and they started selling the Kobo Touch in Germany later last year. The Vox launched last October, and it is currently carried in stores in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK (WHSmiths, £149).

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Kobo Vox On Sale At Best Buy

Rakuten’s Kobo is now selling the Kobo Vox in Best Buy stores. The Kobo Vox is Kobo’s answer to the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Tablet. It is a 7-inch tablet with a color display that retails for $199.

Best Buy already carries the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Tablet. Kobo’s other eReader devices, the Kobo Touch and the Kobo Wi-Fi are already available for sale through Best Buy.

The Vox is already on sale at Target.com, but this extends the  device to retailers in the United States.

Kobo Exec Challenges Amazon On Sales Tax In Canada

Amazon has been at the center of news for trying to avoid charging sales tax to consumers across the United States, and now their controversial stance is making waves in Canada.

In an interview with The Montreal Gazette, Daniel Budlovsky, VP of finance at Kobo, said that because of tax laws, residents of Quebec pay 15% sales tax on eBooks they buy from Kobo, but no sales tax on eBooks that they buy from Amazon.

“That should be atrociously viewed by the Canadian public,” he said. ”And the Canadian government should look really closely, I think, at how resident taxpaying companies that employ Canadians … have to compete on an unlevel playing field.”

Budlovsky said that Kobo hopes that the Canadian government will change sales tax rules to help even the playing field.

Kobo Social Platform Now Works With Facebook Timeline

Kobo’s social reading platform is now integrated with Facebook.

Readers can now share the eBooks that they are reading on their Facebook timelines. To do so, a reader must download the Kobo iOS app and enable Kobo Reading Life to their timeline. Using the platform, readers can share what they are reading, write reviews and earn badges based on their reading habits.

The press release explains more: “The new app allows people to post every aspect of their reading experience: from reviewing and recommending eBooks, to sharing passages and keeping tabs on what friends are reading. People can also earn fun badges for hundreds of reading activities, like the Papillion (for extreme social sharers), the Twain (for daily readers), and the Witching Hour (for readers who read into the wee hours of the night).”

Canadian-based Kobo was recently acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. The deal closed last week.

Rakuten/Kobo Acquisition Deal Closes

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten has bought Canadian eBook company Kobo for $315 million in cash. The deal, which was announced in November, has now closed following customary closing conditions.

Kobo will continue to be based out of its Toronto headquarters and the management team will remain in place.

According to a press release issued by Kobo, the new ownership will help the company grow their business. Here is more: “The acquisition by Rakuten, one of the world’s leading Internet service and e-commerce companies, provides Kobo with a strong growth opportunity to expand its footprint into new and expanding markets.”

And business is growing. Christmas was Kobo’s busiest day ever for eBook downloads and  with several ebooks downloaded every second by readers in over 150 countries. Amazon and Barnes & Noble also did well on downloads during the holiday.

Kobo eBook Gifting Up 200% This Holiday

eReader sales increased across retailers this holiday season. Amazon sold millions of Kindles a week, Barnes & Noble saw the Nook business spike 70% this year and Kobo saw customer signups increase 10X.

Kobo reported that its total registered users nearly doubled in the six weeks before Christmas, and said the Christmas Eve was the busiest eBook download day ever for the company. eBook gifting spiked for Kobo this year. It was up 200% over last year and grew 500% from November to December

Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo, stated: “This holiday season broke every foreseeable record for Kobo, and we have exceeded our expectations driving several ebook downloads per second through the holidays. I would like to thank our customers for choosing Kobo to start building their digital library – our success this holiday season is a precursor to a New Year with people reading more than ever thanks to eReaders, eBooks, and Kobo.”

Deadline To Transfer WHSmith eBooks To Kobo Is Today

In October, WHSmith teamed up with Kobo to power its eBook store. Today is the deadline for readers who have purchased eBooks from British book retailer WHSmith to transfer them to the Kobo platform.

The WHSmith website explains: “Your WHSmith eBook Library will remain open until 28th December 2011. From there you can download your eBooks to Adobe Digital Editions. You should download all your purchases before 28th December. Your eBooks are then available to you indefinitely in your Adobe Digital Editions account, in line with the Adobe terms and conditions.”

eBook Magazine points out that there may be some hiccups with some titles: “Last week affected shoppers were sent an email asking that they click a link to confirm they wanted their WHSmith purchases transferring to Kobo. However that email also warned that: ‘We have been unable to make all your eBooks purchased from WHSmith.co.uk available in a Kobo account. This is may be because the titles are no longer available or Kobo have not yet established a relationship with the publisher.’”

Kobo’s Giving Away an eReader Every Day Until Christmas

If you’re up to solving a simple puzzle then here’s your chance to win a Kobo Touch.

Kobo launched a “12 Days of Christmas” contest yesterday, and everyday they will be giving away a Kobo Touch eReader.  They’re ust giving away the one, but they are also offering discount coupons as consolation prizes. I myself won a 25% off coupon just a few minutes ago. It’s a little too late to count on one of these eReaders as a Christmas gift, but it will make a pleasant surprise when it arrives in January.

The rules are pretty simple. You can enter once a day, and each day you play the contest will enter you to win the Grand Prize, which is a bundle with a Kobo Touch, laptop, smartphone, and more.

Kobo Contest

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