There is one overriding reason to buy your e-books from Kobo and to read them on a Kobo app or a Kobo device: The Toronto-based, Japanese-owned e-book company partners with local independent bookstores so they can get a credit when you buy and download an e-book.
Independent bookstores across the United States have embraced this plan and some of them have Kobo e-reader displays in their stores. To find a bookstore near you, or perhaps not near you, takes a bit of work. You won't find the list of participating bookstores on the simplest of the Kobo readers, the Aura.
Here are the steps toward independent e-reading:
- You will find a list of participating stores by going to IndieBound, the website representing those brave booksellers with brick-and-mortar stores that serve many neighborhoods so well and that maintain their independence from giants like Barnes and Noble.
- Once you locate a store you like, download to your laptop the Kobo reader app, which can then reside like any other program on your computer.
- Back at the bookstore's website, find the place where it directs you to e-books. Find the book or author you want, making sure you click on ebooks, not paperbacks or hardcovers.
- Click to buy. This takes you to Kobo’s website, where the actual transaction takes place. Every independent bookstore has its own storefront.
- Login to Kobo or create a Kobo account so you can pay for the book.
- Download your book to your Kobo reading app.
- Use your USB power cable to link your Kobo device to your laptop and on the Kobo app where your library is shown, click on the "sync" icon, toward the top right, indicated by two arrows chasing one another in a circle.
- Follow the download progress at the bottom of the app. Then eject the device from your laptop, tap "Library" ont he device, and tap the new book you have just bought.
Thanks to MediaBistro for this reminder and for the step-by-step directions.