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Kobo to expand digital publishing services before end of quarter

Now that things have settled down at Kobo following its acquisition by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, the e-reading company seems poised to roll out the next stage of its digital publishing services in the coming months.

In an interview with The Bookseller, Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis confirmed the company’s expanded publishing service would be up and running before the end of the current quarter.

News of Kobo’s plans to further develop its publishing program first surfaced in October. At the time, Michael Tamblyn, executive vice-president of sales and merchandising, explained Kobo was in the process of retooling its self-publishing program and would be putting out non-fiction titles under its Kobo Basics imprint. While Kobo Basics began releasing books before the end of 2011, the rest of these plans were delayed by Indigo Books and Music’s sale of Kobo to Rakuten, and the company’s subsequent prioritizing of international expansion. (Kobo will continue this trend by moving into “dozens” of new markets before the end of the year, Serbinis notes in The Bookseller piece.)

On an unrelated note, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty visited Kobo’s headquarters in Toronto on Tuesday. A Kobo staffer blogged that the premier “applauded Kobo staff for being part of something bigger than just a job that pays the bills ” he thanked us for being a driver of reading and education in Ontario and throughout the world.”