As had long been rumored, the American Booksellers Association announced today that it is partnering with Kobo to give member stores an opportunity to sell e-books and, for the first time, e-reading devices. The agreement replaces one with Google, which was to have ended in January 2013.
“We are pleased to offer our ABA members a competitive e-book retailing solution uniquely crafted to meet the needs of independent booksellers and their customers,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “Through this partnership with Kobo, indie bookstore customers will have access to a broad and diverse inventory of e-books.”
Unlike Google, Kobo has experience in the bookselling environment and its products were available in Borders, which had a stake in the company. Under the arrangement with the ABA, Kobo will not only make its list of nearly 3 million e-book titles available as well as e-readers and accessories, but assist with training, in-store merchandising, marketing, sales, and logistic solutions.
“We are very excited to work with the ABA and independent bookstores across America to bring an indie alternative to the e-reading market,” said Kobo CEO Mike Serbinis.
Kobo expects to begin rolling out the program this fall, starting with the 400 ABA member stores that participate in its IndieCommerce program. More details about the program will be released at the upcoming regional trade shows that begin September 6 with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance meeting in Naples, Fla.