Hey! Have you heard the news? Kobo Plus, a smorgasbord/Netflix-style reading and audiobook program, is now available in the United States!
Kobo Plus is new to the United States. But contrary to what you might have assumed, not everything worthwhile starts here.
(Okay…most things. But not everything.)
Kobo Plus has long been available in other English-speaking countries, like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Kobo Plus has also long been available in France, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands. (They don’t speak English in those countries, at least not as the official, national language. Ask anyone who has ever made the mistake of hailing random strangers in English while walking around Paris.)
Kobo Plus, therefore, is an internationally established program that is now being rolled out to the United States.
Should you jump on board? Let’s consider that question.
If you have always lived in the United States, then you might not be familiar with Kobo at all. In the USA, when we think “online bookseller”, we tend to think of one retailer: Amazon.
If you were a Kiwi or an Aussie, though, you would probably think first of Kobo. And if you were a Canuck, you would definitely think first of Kobo.
Kobo is based in Toronto. (Yes, that’s in Canada, so no one needs to Google it.)
This means that Kobo’s management team is mostly Canadian, and they pronounce certain words in an unusual manner, to American ears.
But this also means that the folks at Kobo (also like most of the folks I’ve met up in the Great White North) tend to be very approachable, laidback, and conscientious.
Niceness is one of Canada’s chief exports, in my experience. I’ve never lived there, but I used to take frequent business trips to Canada. This niceness is observable in the Kobo experience, both as a reader, and (in my case) as a writer.
Speaking of which: If you’ve spent much time at this site, you’ll know that I’m a writer. Here are some ideas about Kobo Plus from a reader’s perspective. (Or, to be more precise: a writer advising you as a reader, from a writer’s perspective.)
Kobo offers a free trial, and the monthly pricing is very similar to what you’ll find at Amazon for Kindle Unlimited.
Kobo Plus currently has about 1.3 million ebook and audiobook titles available. This number should only increase in the future.
What you might not know
Titles enrolled in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program have to be exclusive to Amazon during the enrollment period. If a title is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, it cannot be offered at any other retailer.
Kobo, on the hand, does not require exclusivity.
This means that there should be very little overlap between the Kindle Unlimited and Kobo Plus libraries. (This may change, if Amazon ever drops its exclusivity requirement; but Amazon shows no signs of doing that at the moment.)
Therefore, if you’re an avid reader, a Kobo Plus subscription may make sense for you, even if you are already a subscriber to Kindle Unlimited.
Hey, give it a try! You can sign up for a Kobo Plus trial at the links on this page. Tell them Ed sent you!
**Affiliate link disclaimer **
(Or, fund my next donut at Tim Hortons.)
I am a fan of Kobo, but this post does contain affiliate/sponsored links.
This means that I may earn a small percentage from qualifying sales that you make from links on this page.
How much? If you buy a bunch of stuff from these links, I may make enough money to purchase a Tim Hortons* donut on my next trip to Canada.
That would be great! But mostly, I just want you to give Kobo and Kobo Plus a try.
Why? Because while I love the world’s largest retailer (they delivered something to my house today, in fact), I want to see more competition in the bookselling market.
*Tim Hortons is Canada’s most popular restaurant chain; and they specialize in donuts…unlike Kobo, which specializes in books.