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Kobo talks self-publishing at the London Book Fair

April 18, 2012 | 10:59 am

Kobo is planning to make a major move into self-publishing, the Bookseller reports. In a conversation at this week's London Book Fair, chief executive Mike Serbinis told the British publishing industry magazine that Kobo will open its self-publishing arm this quarter.

In October, Michael Tamblyn, executive vice president of sales and merchandising at Kobo, told the Quill & Quire that Kobo's publishing focus "will be on building out an improved self-publishing offering to bring us in line with our competitors in that fast-growing category."

Last year, the Canadian-based e-reading company was purchased by Rakuten, Japan's largest e-commerce website. As that deal is finalized, the company is planning expansion into a dozen new countries. It points to France, where it is beating rival Amazon, as proof that the international e-reader marketplace is open to competition.

In America, Amazon dominates the e-reader marketplace. But Kobo seems determined to take the company on.  Serbinis told the Bookseller, “We have a nuclear deterrent by having a strong balance sheet.”


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Photo: Colored 2011 Kobo e-readers. Credit: Kobo