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Old 10-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
Wetdogeared
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Kobo to publish directly with authors

Kobo to become a publisher. ~ CBC News
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Canadian-based e-book seller Kobo is following in Amazon's footsteps and creating a publishing arm that will deal directly with authors, CBC News has learned.
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The head of the Writers' Union of Canada, Greg Hollingshead, expects Amazon and Kobo will gobble up a bunch of business that would otherwise go to traditional publishers.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #2
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LOL.. beat me to it by minutes!

Had heard this on the news and just found the stroy on the web site.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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Would they be signing authors to "exclusive" contracts? If so, I'm wondering if that will still be considered "contributing to the downfall of humanity"... or can we safely exempt them since it's only li'l ol' Kobo?
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Ooh, evil evil Kobo is cutting publishers out of their good-given right to control the market.
Just like evil evil evil Barnes and Noble!
Just like evil, eviler, evilest, Amazon!
Oh woe!
The end times are upon us!
Or not.

Clearly Indigo/Kobo know which way the hurricane winds are blowing: first Indigo decides to charge publishers to carry/promote their pbooks and now Kobo decides the need to secure some exclusive content of their own supercedes their "loyalty" to traditional publishers. No fools, they're not about to let others decide their fate.

Slightly overdue move but still within the window of oportunity.

Next up: Sony.
Paging Kaz Hirai: time to fish or cut bait, sir!

Last edited by fjtorres; 10-27-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:18 PM   #5
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Would they be signing authors to "exclusive" contracts? If so, I'm wondering if that will still be considered "contributing to the downfall of humanity"... or can we safely exempt them since it's only li'l ol' Kobo?
Even if Kobo does get authors to sign exclusive contracts, it's OK because they use ePub with standard Adept DRM.

It's like Target exclusive CDs. Everyone with standard hardware can use them.
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JSWolf
Even if Kobo does get authors to sign exclusive contracts, it's OK because they use ePub with standard Adept DRM.
Hello, Double. I'd like you to meet Standard.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:25 PM   #7
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Hello, Double. I'd like you to meet Standard.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:40 PM   #8
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But will authors sign with Kobo if it means they can't publish their books on Amazon? I wouldn't. It's too limiting.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:42 PM   #9
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Hello, Double. I'd like you to meet Standard.
I don't think it's necessarily as okay as JSWolf says, but I get his point. I can buy a Kobo book and read it on my Sony reader. or on the Nook. or on a Kobo. That's less restrictive than an Amazon book. (Of course, nowadays, if you have tablets instead you can have the Kindle app on everything, I guess). But because I read on my Sony PRS-505, I can't buy an amazon-exclusive book and read it on my hardware. Not without removing DRM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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I doubt this will be the same type of "publishing" platform that Amazon will be launching.

If I had to place I bet, I'd say it will be self-publishing with the option to purchase editing/formatting services. Many self-published authors contract freelancers to do this work for them, but I'm guessing that Kobo will begin to offer these services for a fee. And hopefully it will be completely optional. I could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if it was a locked-in publishing deal.

Last edited by Suzanna; 10-27-2011 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:14 PM   #11
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Actually, humor aside (which is lost on format fanatics), I can see exclusive catalogs at some point becoming like patent portfolios; subject to cross-licensing as a way to (legally) squeeze out the generics.

For now and the near term it is (almost) meaningless; nobody has a big enough portfolio of exclusives to matter and none of the exclusives matter enough to sway buyers. It is more of a "show-the-flag" move on Kobo's behalf; a statement that they intend to be a top tier player and will match the big (market share) boys move for move.

Down the road once big-name writers' contracts start expiring and they can bring along their backlists, we *might* see *some* meaningful exclusives if the traditional publishers don't learn how to shed overhead. But even that is a ways off.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #12
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I can't buy an amazon-exclusive book and read it on my hardware. Not without removing DRM.
And I can't buy a Kobo exclusive book and read it on my Kindle without removing DRM. That's evil.

Exclusivity is either evil or it isn't... it can't be OK for Kobo to do it, yet evil for Amazon to do it. That's all I meant by a certain someone's double standard.

But we don't even know yet, if these deals will be exclusive (for any length of time), and I can honestly say I don't really care one way or the other. I think everyone should start their own imprint/retail store if they so choose.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:30 PM   #13
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Exclusivity is either evil or it isn't... it can't be OK for Kobo to do it, yet evil for Amazon to do it. That's all I meant by a certain someone's double standard.
That's my favorite kind of standard. Two is always better than one.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:01 PM   #14
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And I can't buy a Kobo exclusive book and read it on my Kindle without removing DRM. That's evil.
I know you said this tongue-in-cheek; but without commenting on evilness, there is a difference: Kobo is not preventing Kindles from reading ePubs; Amazon is. Kobo's ePubs are readable on devices that support ADE. Amazon has chosen not to. I presume they have also chosen to not license their DRM for other manufacturers (or maybe they have licenses but they're too expensive?)
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:24 PM   #15
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if they get some cool exclusive stuff, i'll buy a kobo. which is exactly what they want and i have no problem doing.
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