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Kobo

Kobo Selling eReaders For $49

Looking for an eReader without a touchscreen? Kobo is selling refurbished versions of the Kobo Wi-Fi, its eReader before the company went touch, for $49.99.

This is a huge discount from the device which was originally priced at $89.99. The eReader has a 6-inch eInk screen.

The deal is only good while supplies last. Follow this link for more information.

Kobo Vox Now Available In New Zealand

Kobo is now selling its Vox tablet device in Whitcoulls, a book retailer based in New Zealand.

The press release has more: “The store features popular titles that include the ‘The Whale Rider’ by Witi Ihimaera, ‘The Hut Builder’ by Laurence Fearnley, and John Kirwan’s ‘All Black’s Don’t Cry.’”

Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo, stated: “We are excited to be able to deliver the brand new, innovative, Kobo Vox eReader experience to Whitcoulls customers. We remain focused on offering the best and most innovative eReading experience to deliver on our goal of making eReading available to everyone, everywhere around the world.  With the combination of a beautiful product, incredible video and audio functionality and now with the advent of social reading, the Kobo Vox is unlike any eReading product available in New Zealand today.”

Kobo Launches Book Club For New Kobo Touch Owners

Kobo is running a new promotion this month. If you buy and register a new Kobo Touch, you’ll get the chance to join the new Kobo Book Club.

Every month during 2012 Kobo will be giving Book Club members their choice of free eBooks. I don’t know what the rest of the year will bring, but Kobo has announced the free ebooks for January. Book Club members will get to choose one title from a diverse trio:

• Pride and Prejudice – The Wild and Wanton Edition by Anabella Bloom & Jane Austen
HBR’s 10 Must Reads: On Managing People published by Harvard Business Review Press
• Star Wars Vs Star Trek by Matt Forbeck

This offer is only open to new owners, and the deal expires in March.

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Kobo Touch On Sale For $69 For Cyber Monday

Buy.com is running a special promotion on the Kobo Touch eReader with Special Offers today, selling the device for $69.99, plus free shipping. The ad-supported eReader has a 6-inch black-and-white eInk screen touchscreen. It shows ads while the Kobo touch is in sleep mode, as well as at the bottom of the home screen (much like the ads on the ad-supported Kindle).

In other Cyber Monday news, Amazon is cleaning house on the Kindle DX and selling these 3G devices for $259.

Barnes & Noble is giving away a free $25 gift card for customers that buy the Nook online today.

Who Is Rakuten? ‘The Amazon Of Japan’ Says Kobo CEO

Last night Canadian eBook company Kobo announced that they were being acquired by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten in a $315 million cash deal. Who is Rakuten and what does this mean for Kobo? Founded in 1997 as an online shopping mall, the company sells pretty much anything you can imagine. This includes books, baseballs, bridal gowns and plane tickets. No wonder their website claims to be, “Japan’s No. 1 Shopping Site.”

Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis, described the company as “the Amazon of Japan,” with a $15 billion business and more than 50 million customers worldwide. In an interview with Digital Book World, Serbinis talked about what the deal means for Kobo. He said: “From our standpoint, this really gives us an opportunity to accelerate our growth, both with Rakutan’s financial resources, e-commerce platform, base of customers, as well as their distribution internationally. It offered the opportunity to get bigger, faster and to do so with someone that has the short-term financial capabilities and a long-term view on this and a significant balance sheet.”

Rakuten has been on a buying spree this year. TechCrunch has more: “The company acquired French e-commerce company PriceMinisterfor $250 million – back in 2010 and bought Tradoria, a German online shopping mall, in July 2011. Rakuten also recently acquired Brazilian e-commerce company Ikeda in addition to Buy.com (also for $250 million) and Play.com.

Rakuten Buys Kobo For $315 Million In Cash Deal

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten has agreed to buy Canadian eBook company Kobo for $315 million in cash.

Founded in 2009, Kobo has been fast to gain ground in the eBook market and has become a competitor to Amazon and Barnes & Noble offering eReader devices, a tablet and an eReading store.

The acquisition expands Rakuten’s push into the downloadable media business by adding eBooks to their digital media offerings.

Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman/CEO of Rakuten, stated: “We are very excited about this next step. Kobo provides one of the world’s most communal eBook reading experiences with its innovative integration of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter; while Rakuten offers Kobo unparalleled opportunities to extend its reach through some of the world’s largest regional e-commerce companies, including Buy.com in the US, Tradoria in Germany, Rakuten Brazil, Rakuten Taiwan, Lekutian in China, TARAD in Thailand, and Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia, and of course, Rakuten Ichiba in Japan.”

Kobo Now Stocking Vox-only eBooks

When Kobo announced its new Android tablet a few weeks back, many readers were looking forward to the more diverse content made possible by the color screen and speakers on the Vox.It’s been just over a week since the Vox shipped and Kobo is already offering enhanced eBooks.

The new “Just for Vox” section of the Kobo eBookstore is now up to 357 titles in a variety of genres including cookbooks, travel, graphic novels, children’s books, and there’s even a section for eBooks with embedded audio. There are 35 enhanced eBooks in this section, and that’s bound to grow.

The eBooks come from a diverse group of publishers, including Crown, MTV Books, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Simon & Schuster. There’s also a surprisingly diverse group of topics covered, including a repair manual for the Starship Enterprise, travel guides, and even a few titles in Spanish.

Kobo

Kobo Is Getting Into Publishing

Canadian-based eBook company Kobo is reportedly getting into publishing early next year. Like Amazon before them, the eBook company will cut out the publisher and work as a publisher/retailer that deals directly with authors.

CBC News has more: “Kobo will be offering complete publishing services for authors, including book editing and design. ‘It’s part of the new market and if you expect to be a number 1 player in that market globally it’s table stakes — you have to provide it,’ [Kobo chief Michael] Serbinis told CBC News.”

Amazon has been expanding its Amazon Publishing business this year and counts a handful of imprints including: 47North, AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Powered by Amazon, Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer.

The news comes just as Kobo is getting ready to ship out its new tablet computers. The device, which ships tomorrow, is a $199 competitor to the Nook Color and the Kindle Fire (which ships 11/15/11).

Introducing the Kobo Vox (video)

Kobo launched the Vox Android tablet yesterday, and they also posted this commercial on Youtube. No one’s gotten a look at the real Vox yet, so watching this video i going to show you as much about the Vox as any tech blogger.

Kobo’s $199 Tablet ‘Kobo Vox’ Is On Sale

The rumors were true, Kobo has gotten into the tablet ring. The Kobo Vox, the company’s new tablet computer is now listed for sale on their site for $199, the same price as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, $50 less than the Nook Color.

The tablet has a 7″ color touch screen and runs on Android. It has an eBooks, apps, video games, music and includes web browsing and email. Like the Nook Color and the Kindle Fire, the device has a digital newsstand for reading color magazines. The Vox also plays movies and includes Kobo’s social reading platform Reading Life.

The Vox ships October 28th, ahead of the Kindle Fire’s November 15th ship date for the Kindle Fire. Let the eReader wars continue.

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