Kobo and Serial Box to release royal wedding-inspired series

Kobo and Serial Box to release royal wedding-inspired series

Kobo is teaming up with digital and audio company Serial Box on a six-part series to celebrate the royal wedding.

The “feel-good” romances will launch on 2nd May as Kobo Originals, counting down to the nuptials of Prince Harry and Megan Markle on 19th May. Royally Yours is a fiction serial inspired by the royal wedding aimed at fans of “Love Actually” offering five “fun and flirty love stories” culminating in a finale on the big day “showing us that it’s not just the royals who will find their happily ever after”.

It is the second in the Kobo Originals programme, launched in January, which offers readers exclusive original e-book and audiobook content.

Royally Yours episodes follow the story of a palace maid, a milliner who dreams of seeing her designs adorn the pews, an American bodyguard who requires some British charm, the paparazzo after that one great shot, and the ordinary girl who dreams of being a princess.

The series will be available on the Serial Box and Kobo platforms in both e-book and audiobook formats on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2nd May through to 18th May and will cost $1.99 (£1.43) per episode or $8.99 ($6.44) for all six, although the first episode will be free.

“We listen carefully to our readers to find out how we can make their reading lives better, and exclusive content continues to be of great interest,” said Pieter Swinkels, executive v.p., publisher relationships and content at Rakuten Kobo. “Serialised content performs exceptionally well for Kobo, and we are thrilled to be working with Serial Box on this series. All eyes will be on the royal wedding, and Royally Yours is sure to resonate with our readers.”

Serial Box c.e.o. Molly Barton said: “We are thrilled to partner with Kobo on Royally Yours and excited to be part of their Originals Program, with its ambitious creative content.”

Programmes are released through the Serial Box apps, website, and third party retailers in weekly installments in both e-book and audio formats. During a three-month season, each week’s episode is a 30-minute read or an hour listen. In addition to Kobo, Serial Box has recently collaborated with The Associated Press, Adaptive Studios, and Hachette Book Group, among others.

The New York-based company was founded by Barton and Julian Yap. Barton previously worked at Penguin Random House US as global digital director and Yap served as senior counsel in the Department of Justice for the Obama administration.

Kobo took its first step into the audiobook market last September, with a subscription service claiming to offer “the best value on a subscription plan in the category”.

Ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, The Bookseller heard that the fight for audiobook rights was tougher than ever, partly caused by the promotional budgets and reach of Audible.