Electronic bookstore, Kobo (previously known as Shortcovers) launches in the UK this week, billing itself as an all-in-one electronic reading service for PCs, laptops, netbooks, tablets and smartphones.
Kobo uses the e-publishing industry's open standards such as EPUB and offers a unique cloud-based service to let book buyers read their purchases on any device they like.
From iPhone to e-book
So you might purchase a book on your iPhone when you are travelling and decide to continue reading it on a dedicated e-reader device when you are back at home safely tucked up in bed.
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"Kobo also keeps all of a reader's devices in sync, enabling them to read from device to device," reads the company's press release to announce the UK launch.
"Since it launched in North America in early 2009, Kobo has been downloaded by more than one million users in 200 countries. The UK launch is the first region-specific launch for Kobo outside of North America."
Kobo features eBooks from British publishing partners such as as Random House UK, Penguin Group UK, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster UK and Faber & Faber.
At launch, Kobo will have nearly two million titles available in the UK – ranging from bestsellers from £8.99 and less through to lesser known titles from the Independent Publishers Guild "to ensure that regional and independent presses are represented alongside major publishing houses."
"The UK presents a huge opportunity for Kobo to showcase its global capabilities," said Michael Tamblyn, Kobo's vice president of content, sales and merchandising. "Our focus is on assembling the world's best catalogue of content for our readers and delivering a fantastic purchasing and reading experience on any device a customer chooses. We will also provide readers in the UK with a huge selection of content. The UK is the first of many international launches for Kobo this year."
Free apps, free e-books
Richard Charkin, Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc added that: "The market for eBooks in Britain is growing fast and readers are looking for choice and the best possible experience. We are delighted that Kobo, with its excellent technology across the mobile spectrum and its deep commitment to authors and readers, is launching in the UK.
"Bloomsbury is working closely with Kobo to ensure that our publishing programme, including best selling titles such as Ben Macintyre's Operation Mincemeat and Liz Gilbert's Committed, is available as widely and as easily as possible."
Brits can download Kobo's dedicated eReading apps for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm Pre, and Android devices right now to give the new service a whirl.
For more info head over to www.kobobooks.com – which also features thousands of free books to give you a taster of what the service has to offer.