Kobo has only been involved in the audiobook space for the past five months. They sell audiobooks individually and also charge a monthly subscription. The Toronto company has just launched their first Kobo Original by author Zoe Whittall, who was a 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist.
The title is called the Best Kind of People and here is a short synopsis. “George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular overachieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?”
Kobo has never issued an original ebook and the company has been involved in the space since 2009. This is likely because their Writing Life platform is populated by thousands of indie authors that populate the Kobo catalog with a copious amount of content that is not available anywhere else. Audiobooks are a bit of a different beast, publishers only release a certain amount every year because of the costs of production. Having exclusive audio is a good draw to get people hooked on your platform, this is something Audible has done very well.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.