Kobo sets record straight about new publishing initiative
Following reports by CBC News last Thursday that Kobo will roll out a publishing arm in 2012, Q&Q set out to clarify exactly what these publishing services would entail. At the time, a representative from Kobo was unavailable for comment.
On Friday, Michael Tamblyn, executive vice-president of sales and merchandising at Kobo, contacted Q&Q to set the record straight. The original story published by CBC took a “slightly expansive view” of the publishing program Kobo will launch in the new year, Tamblyn wrote in an e-mail. (By Thursday evening CBC had updated the extended broadcast story to specify the new initiative as a self-publishing service, though the Web story remains unchanged.)
According to Tamblyn, Kobo’s publishing division will focus on expanding its self-publishing services, in addition to co-publishing ventures on non-fiction titles exclusively for the Kobo Vox.
It has been interesting to watch this story ricochet through the industry over the last couple of days and the speed of its spread is, I’m sure, directly proportional to the angst felt by publishers about this issue. Just to be clear, our focus will be on building out an improved self-publishing offering to bring us in line with our competitors in that fast-growing category.
We will also launch “Kobo Basics,” a line of cookbooks, field and nature guides and other illustrated non-fiction available as digital exclusives on Kobo Vox, an endeavour we will embark on in cooperation with partner publishers.
To the extent that we are reaching out to agents, it is for content not currently available in print or through existing publishers, such as non-book-length works. We will, for the time being, leave editing, acquisitions, and the paying of advances to our friends the publishers who do that work so well.