|04-20-2011, 02:42 PM||#16|
lost in my e-reader...
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: sunny southern California, USA
Device: Android phone, Sony T1, Nook ST Glowlight, Galaxy Tab 7 Plus
Although I'm pretty flexible, Kobo is my preferred e-book store since they have "normal" (i.e. not BN-flavored) epub, the ability to read on multiple devices without the hassle of stripping DRM and converting (yeah, yeah, I know it's minimal hassle, but it is hassle), and coupons/discounts on non-agency titles. So, I'm happy to hear they are getting a bit more funding.
But, I share others' concerns about their long-term viability - although for different reasons. My main concern about Kobo's viability is how @$#%)@ it is to use their website for much beyond finding a book you already know about. Their search is abominable and actually got ***worse*** not too long ago - unless you put things in quotes, you get mostly listings that have scant relationship to the keywords you entered. And, they have no advanced search function, and only very limited ability to sort search results. If they'd fix these things, I'd be more optimistic about their future.
With that said, if they can negotiate the pathways of a more international e-book market, I think they might add a lot of value for those outside the US. It strikes me, though, that they will have to charge a lot more as their overhead for dealing with multiple languages, publishers, rights-holders, countries, etc. etc. will be quite high. But, maybe there is a specialty niche to be found there...someone(s) must think so...
|04-20-2011, 03:00 PM||#17|
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New York
Device: PW2 & PRS-T2
I agree that Kobo has a good shot at being a strong competitor int he platform market - they put far more effort than B&N and Sony in the smartphone and tablet environment. Their iPad app is really quite good and is updated regularly. I"m not 100% keen on their social features, but they're not annoying.
My main problems with Kobo as a customer are the
a. the icky site search mentioned above
b. the fact that they are trying to play internationally, but are using a Canadian bank-processor, resulting in unmentioned bank exchange fees for non-Canadian customers. The fees are usually minimal, so the price is still good, but it creates a bad taste for customers, leaving the impression that Kobo is misleading in prices.
c. In the case of my bank, my credit card gets shut down EVERY time I shop there, because multiple, small international transactions are a fraud flag. Annoying. And I've contacted their customer service two times to find out if I can purchase gift certificates for myself to redeem to avoid the fraud flag, and have had no reply.
So B&N gets my (very little) book-buying money, and then I swiftly deDRM and sideload into Kobo, Kindle and iBooks, depending on the preference and type of book.
|04-20-2011, 04:42 PM||#18|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Device: Kobo Wifi (broken), nook STR (returned), Kobo Touch, Sony T1
Every single time I go to their site I just get bogged down - no matter what connection I use it's slow and unwieldy. Just to add insult to injury - their customer service is pretty bad, too.
|04-20-2011, 05:42 PM||#19|
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Circling Earth @ Mach .83
Device: Kindle Voyage, PW2, Fire HDX 8.9; Kobo Aura H20, Mini; Nexus 7.2, 10
A second book I purchased was a completely different title and author from the one I purchased. Of course, I did not discover this until I opened it. This snafu required two separate phone calls, my valuable time and resulted in another delayed response ("only" one week this time). A refund was submitted with promises to fix the website. I never checked and never returned.
Some love to hate Amazon but their customer is outstanding. Heck, one can even return a book for an instant refund.
|04-20-2011, 06:13 PM||#20|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Device: Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura HD, Kindle Wifi, Nexus 7 (2013), Samsung Tab 10.1
I will not defend the Kobobooks.com search function. It works well enough for me but I am generally looking for something very specific; the site is not optimised for browsing randomly. No question: Amazon has that down best of anyone.
I have always had good results from Kobo customer service: but then I have always used their e-mail ticketing system. I haven't phoned because I can describe in words much more specifically an issue than I could on a phone call. Replies have been prompt; and there is a record of the transaction.
I've ordered about 50 books and none of them have been blank; all have downloaded well as ePub for backup; all seem to open well on both Kobos and on my Blackberry Torch. I also have yet to find a book I want to order where the coupon code didn't work.
So, I'm a pretty happy camper.
I happen to think there is room for more than one player in the world. The Kobo nicely complements my Kindle 3; I have a choice of booksellers and can be guided by price or format or availability; each has built out a "platform" where my cloud library can be accessed by native e-ink device or phone or tablet or PC; and each is working hard to develop international markets.
Contrasting to what B&N is doing with the Nook (and, B&N as a corporate enterprise is not exactly in the picture of health) or Sony which appears content to sit on the sidelines and tread water ... I'm delighted to see the aggressive, bold moves by Kobo and their obvious commitment to their product.
|canadian, ereader, investment, kobo, platform|
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