Digital book retailer Kobo has launched a UK presence, offering e-books for download from an online store, along with free reader software for smartphones and Mac or PC systems.
Formerly known as Shortcovers, Kobo offers a unique cloud-based service that lets consumers build up an e-book library collection without being locked in to any one single device, according to the firm.
From today, British customers can browse e-books from leading UK publishers such as Random House, Penguin Group, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster and Faber & Faber, with prices typically £8.99 or less. The UK online store is the first region-specific launch for Kobo outside North America, the company said.
The UK store will include a bestseller list unique to this country, and UK titles will feature prominently on the site.
Michael Tamblyn, Kobo's vice president of content, sales and merchandising, said that the UK represents a huge opportunity for his firm.
"Our focus is on assembling the world’s best catalogue of content for our readers and delivering a fantastic purchasing and reading experience on any device a customer chooses. We will also provide readers in the UK with a huge selection of content," he said, adding that this will be just the first of many international launches for Kobo this year.
Kobo's support of the Epub format allows users of e-book readers such as the Sony Reader to purchase and download publications via their PC. The service also includes support for smartphones such as Apple's iPhone, BlackBerry devices, Palm's Pre, and Android devices.
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