Kobo is to move into publishing, its c.e.o. has announced, with plans to offer complete publishing services directly to authors, Canadian CBC News reports.
C.e.o. Michael Serbinis told the network that Kobo will roll out its programme sometime in 2012. He said: "It's part of the new market and if you expect to be a number one player in that market globally its table stakes—you have to provide it."
Kobo will offer services including book editing and design to authors, although it is currently unclear whether the e-reader company will publish print books, or just e-books. It is also unclear whether it will be a self-publishing initative or a full-service programme, such as Amazon's, where the company has hired publishers and editors with a traditional publishing background. Amazon's publishing arm now includes six imprints, including the most recent launch, 47North, a sci-fi, fantasy and horror imprint.
Meanwhile, in its reaction piece to the news, Quill & Quire reports that Canadian Booksellers Association president Mark Lefebvre joined Kobo this week in the newly created role of director of self-publishing and author relations.
The article reports Carolyn Wood, executive director at the Association of Canadian Publishers, saying: "I have no reason to think that Kobo would want to get into the highly speculative business of selecting acquisitions. I’m assuming that what they’re offering is a service for a fee and that is an option that has always been available to authors."
This follows Kobo and W H Smith's link-up in the UK, with Smith's now stocking Kobo's e-reading devices.