Kobo’s “eRead Local” Program: A 100-day eReading Incentive Offer

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Here, in Q&A format, Kobo explains the benefits to booksellers, publishers, and authors of the Kobo eRead Local incentive program, which will run from August 22 through November 29.

What is the program?

$5 for stores, $5 for customers

“eRead Local” is a 100-day incentive program in the U.S. only, for members of Kobo’s retail partner, the American Booksellers Association. For a limited time, local, independent bookstores that are affiliated with Kobo (see list here) will receive $5 USD per new Kobo customer acquired. Each of those new customers will also receive a $5 USD credit for use toward their first purchase of a Kobo eBook.

Two amazing prizes for bookstores

Bookstores that acquire 100 new customers* or more will earn a chance to win an in-store event with a bestselling author. In addition, five Kobo Glo HD eReaders will be awarded to the indie bookstore that accumulates the largest number of new Kobo-affiliated accounts during the 100-day contest period; these devices can be used for in-store customer contests to help generate further foot traffic, or to engage with customers through other initiatives.

* New customers are defined as having a unique e-mail address that has never registered for a Kobo account in the past.

When will the program take place?

From August 22 to November 29, 2015, 11:59 p.m. The program will end after the celebratory final drive on Small Business Saturday (November 28).

Does the customer need to buy something in order for the ABA member store to receive $5?

No. The customer simply needs to set up an account affiliated with the bookstore.

How does a customer set up an affiliate account?

1. Via kobo.com/indieapp, where they can search for their favorite local bookstore by zip code and sign up for a Kobo account; or,

2. Directly through your store website, where they can sign up for a Kobo account via the link you provide.

Do customers need a Kobo device to participate?

No! Customers can download a free Kobo App here to read on any smartphone, computer, or tablet. They can also purchase eBooks through the app. Customers can sign into the app with a new Kobo account and continue to support the store of their choice.

How will the customer receive their $5 credit?

The $5 credit will be sent via e-mail or will be uploaded to their account.

What does this mean for ABA member stores?

Simply put, the eRead Local Program means more customers, increased revenue, and a straightforward incentive to invite new eBook customers in the door. In addition, participating affiliates have a chance to win an in-store event with a top author or free Kobo eReaders for contests and promotions. It’s a program that will allow you to excite current customers and attract new ones without the added cost of a typical customer campaign.

Why should I sell eBooks when I have a store full of inventory?

A digital reading partnership with Kobo means ongoing revenue for you for any eBook purchase your customer makes in any genre. Create a revenue stream without inventory and handling costs that will simultaneously enable you to expand your eBook offering to customers.

How will participating ABA member stores promote this program?

Participating stores will have the option to download Kobo marketing materials from the Bookseller DIY on BookWeb.org.


What support can publishers offer?

Publishers can inform their indie reps about this program, so that they can encourage excitement about getting involved in eRead Local.

What can publishers gain from eRead Local?

This program is fully focused on helping to support local bookstores. Once a customer is set up as an affiliate via Kobo, a portion of every eBook purchase they make thereafter goes right back to their favorite local store.

What promotion can publishers do to help spread the word?

  • Join the conversation on social media via #ereadlocal, @ABAbook, and @Kobo.
  • Encourage authors to tell their fans to sign up between August 22 and November 29, 2015.
  • Highlight key program selling points in conversations with independent booksellers to showcase the advantages of digital books: Bookstores’ online components are open 24/7; they can sell titles that are eBook-only editions and can feature self-published/hybrid authors who may not offer print editions (indies helping indies, etc.).
  • Help Kobo offer prizes/giveaways as part of a fantastic event for the winning store.


What support can authors offer?

  • Join the conversation on social media via #ereadlocal, @ABAbook, and @Kobo.
  • Encourage fans to sign up for Kobo accounts via their favorite local store and to buy their books that way from August 22 to November 29, 2015.
  • Link to IndieBound.org and Kobo editions of their own books on their websites, in newsletters, and across social media.
  • Educate fans about the importance of supporting a diverse marketplace with local bookstores and Kobo.
  • Offer free swag for the winning store as a contribution to the event.

How does this program benefit authors?

Local bookstores can be an author’s best friend — hosting readings, hand-selling titles, and helping to build up a readership, one customer at a time. eRead Local is a chance for authors to give back to the independent bookstore community.

By encouraging their fans to buy their eBooks from a local independent bookstore, authors are ensuring that whether readers choose print or digital, independent bookstores are the place to get great books.

How does this program benefit self-published authors?

For self-published authors, who fight an uphill battle with print book distribution and discoverability, this program is especially exciting. Publishing with Kobo’s free self-publishing platform, Kobo Writing Life (KWL), automatically lands your book on the virtual shelves of local, independent U.S. bookstores through our partnership with ABA.

Encouraging fans to buy self-published books through eRead Local opens up the door to supporting local bookstores, and vice versa.