Toronto-based ebook retailer Kobo has signed a deal with the American Booksellers Association to let independent bookstores to sell its ebooks through their websites, replacing the ABA’s deal with Google, which was set to end in January.
Oren Teicher, ABA’s chief executive, said the Kobo agreement will let booksellers share in revenue from e-books sold to any of their customers regardless of whether the sale comes via a Kobo reader or a Kobo app on another company’s device. Kobo will also provide a display for independent booksellers to sell the company’s devices, and provide online training materials and in-person seminars.
Around 400 ABA member bookstores have sold Google ebooks through their websites and will likely migrate over to Kobo.
Kobo is owned by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten and sells ebooks in over 90 countries. As I wrote in June, an ABA partnership with Kobo makes sense because Kobo is looking to expand and does not own print bookstores that compete with independent bookstores. It’s also partnered with international bookstore chains like the UK’s WH Smith.