Kobo reports record eBook and eReader sales
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Kobo reports record eBook and eReader sales

Did you get an eBook or eReader for Christmas? It seem a lot of people did. Kobo reported a 10X increase in new customers from the company’s pre-holiday period, and hundreds of thousands of devices were activated each day since Christmas Eve, fuelling the highest eBook download rate in Kobo history – with eBooks being sold to Kobo customers every second of the day.

Kobo president Michael Serbinis says it was the best year ever for the Canadian based company with over 5 million worldwide users.

  • Total registered users nearly doubling from six weeks prior
  • A 5X increase in purchases from the previous biggest weekend (also in December)
  • Customer purchases from over 150 countries, with some of the biggest gains outside of US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, occurring in Germany, Netherlands and Singapore
  • A 500% increase in eGifting from November to December
  • Gifting of eBooks was up over 200% compared to same time last year

“This holiday season broke every foreseeable record for Kobo, and we have exceeded our expectations driving several ebook downloads per second through the holidays,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo.  “I would like to thank our customers for choosing Kobo to start building their digital library – our success this holiday season is a precursor to a New Year with people reading more than ever thanks to eReaders, eBooks, and Kobo.”

The gifting of eBooks was a hugely popular option with people sending electronic gifts set to “arrive” digitally in recipients’ email accounts on Christmas morning.  eGifting more than tripled and the most popular gifted books were:

  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • 11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
  • A Game of Thrones (four book bundle) by George R. R. Martin

Much of the sales increase was  I believe, driven by several promotions Kobo ran during the Holiday buying period..for example I bought six eBooks in order to qualify for a $1500 prize..I didn’t win. As well I bought several eBooks at 30% off sales. I am well stocked up with reading material for the cold days in January 🙂

Two of the most popular books purchased this year in both the US and Canada on Christmas Day were Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games .  Elsewhere in the English-speaking world, customers were looking for a deal.  A £0.49 sale on Karin Slaughter’s The Unremarkable Heartdrove strong sales in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  In the UK, Slaughter was joined in the Top 3 by self-publishing sensation John Locke, who sells his thrillers for $0.99.  Book sales in the UK for the holiday season increased over 7X the previous daily average for December.

Kobo expects 2012 to bring additional surprise bestsellers from self-published authors, whether through direct relationships or aggregating partners.  The pricing experimentation Kobo has seen from publishers large and small will likely continue, as they work with ebooksellers to drive visibility by pricing select titles at pocket change for a limited time. Still the top three best sellers in  English were not discounted ..they are:

Canada 1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett 2. The Litigators by John Grisham 3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

United States 1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett 3. Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson

United Kingdom 1. The Unremarkable Heart by Karin Slaughter (on sale for £0.49) 2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 3. Saving Rachel by John Locke

Australia 1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen 2. Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell 3. The Unremarkable Heart by Karin Slaughter (on sale for £0.49 or ~$0.64 AUD)

Rest of World 1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson 2. Locked On by Tom Clancy 3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett



Bob Benedetti

<p>Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal</p>

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