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Kobo e-book sales increase seven-fold in December

Daily Kobo e-book sales in the UK increased seven times in December as the company revealed one of its top three downloaded books was self-published.

The Canadian e-bookseller said The Unremarkable Heart by Karin Slaughter (Cornerstone) was its top-selling title in December driven by a low sale price of £0.49. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Quercus) sold the second most Kobo books, most likely due to a simultaneous film release of the story, and the third biggest selling UK Kobo book in December was Saving Rachel—a self-published title by John Locke, who also became the first self-published author to sell over a million Kindle books on Amazon in June last year. The digital business did not reveal sales figures.

It said: "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 we work with e-booksellers to drive visibility by pricing select titles at pocket change for a limited time."

Worldwide, Kobo saw a 10-fold increase in new customers from November, with "hundreds of thousands of devices activated each day since Christmas Eve” which led to what Kobo described as “fuelling the highest e-book download rate in Kobo history".

Michael Serbinis, c.e.o. of Kobo, said: “This holiday season broke every foreseeable record for Kobo, and we have exceeded our expectations driving several e-book downloads per second through the holidays.”

W H Smith began selling Kobo e-readers to the UK in October and Asda began retailing them in December, but a free Kobo reading app has been available in the UK previous to the devices being sold.