Kobo Reassures Its E-Book Customers After Borders Declares Bankruptcy
In a move that has been anticipated for some time, the major book retailer chain Borders has filed for bankruptcy today. The news comes after months of declining sales and missed payments to vendors. But Kobo, the e-book retailer that’s run Borders’ digital bookstore says that its customers needn’t worry.
There are a number of reasons why Borders stumbled, but it’s hard not to look at the changing landscape of publishing and the rise of e-books as having some small part to play in the company’s decline. Unlike its competitors Barnes & Noble and Amazon, Borders opted not to build a branded e-reader device. It was also slow to move create an online platform with which to sell e-books, opting instead to partner with the Kobo, a spin-off of Canadian publishing company Indigo Books & Music. Kobo has provided a branded Borders e-bookstore and reader, accessible via the Kobo software and hardware.
Kobo readers join Borders customers today in asking, “What’s next?” And Kobo has responded with a blog post, reassuring users that its service – and their digital purchases – will remain intact.
What does Borders’ bankruptcy mean for Kobo customers? “Nothing,” says Kobo, stating its independence from Borders and its financial security.
“Your ebook library is perfectly safe,” Kobo insists. “The Borders ebook experience is powered by Kobo, an entirely separate company from Borders. Kobo is financially secure and will continue to maintain your ebook library no matter what happens.” Kobo says that it will continue to offer Borders books for sale through its apps.
Kobo says that it “realized long ago that diversification across retailers and markets was important as the book industry went into a period of radical transformation.” That transformation may leave 200 some odd big box stories empty, as Borders shutters some of its outlets. But its e-books, through Kobo at least, will still be available.
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