By Edward Nawotka
Kobo is now available Down Under. REDgroup retail launched its Kobo ereader and e-books platform in Sydney earlier this week, reports Bookseller+Publisher. The reader is available at the group’s Borders website and priced at $199. It is is also available at Borders stores, and is expected to be available in Angus & Robertson and Whitcoulls in the coming weeks.
B+P publisher Tim Coronel tells PP that Kobo anticipates being able to offer some 250,000 titles, “which is comparable with what Kindle can offer here with geographic restrictions.” Titles are still being uploaded to the site, but at launch here are some 50,000 titles available, with the balance being free downloads.
Among the publishers surveyed, Bookseller+Publisher reports: “Scribe’s Tamsin Wagner said she expected the publisher’s initial batch of e-books to be available on the Borders site within the week, Text’s Michael Heyward indicated that titles by Kate Grenville, Helen Garner and Shane Maloney would be available; Spinifex Press has finalized a deal; MUP’s Louise Adler said the publisher had signed with Kobo, while Simon & Schuster managing director Lou Johnson indicated that S&S was planning to have some selected Australian titles up very shortly.”
In an interesting side note, it looks like Australia is a ripe market for e-readers. According to Smart Company, “A new study from Boston Consulting Group revealed last week that 23% of Australians plan to buy an e-reader or tablet within the next year, while 49% plan to buy one within the next three years.”