Kobo has signed a deal with the American Booksellers Association (ABA) that will see Kobo’s ebooks sold via independent bookstores. The deal is being seen as a replacement for a similar one between the ABA and Google that is due to run out in January 2013, although it’s not immediately clear how similar the Kobo arrangement will be.
Independent booksellers will share in the revenue generated by ebook sales via their services, and they’ll also be provided with displays that aid them in selling Kobo devices. The Kobo press release says that this will bring the “Kobo experience” to “up to 2,000″ independent bookstores across the US; the previous deal with Google is believed to have been used by around 400 bookstores, according to PaidContent.
Details of exactly how the deal will work are a little thin on the ground at the moment, so it’s hard to form much of an opinion. For authors selling via Kobo, the chance to get their work in front of more potential buyers is obviously a good thing. The terms for ABA members are less clear, and a fundamental question remains: will consumers really be keen on buying ebooks via third party sites when they can already just go to Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or any of the existing services?