Kobo Beats Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony To eBook Gifting

One of the ongoing major complaints people have about all eBookstores is the inability to buy someone an eBook as a gift.

How hard can it be? Anyone should be able to buy a book and click a button that says This Is A Gift and then fill out the details of who gets it and when. The recipient can download it anytime.

Now Kobo Books, which never seems to sleep, looks like it will beat everyone else to the eBook gifting game.

I got a press email that outlined several holiday ideas Kobo Books has in store. They can be seen at the Kobo Gift Guide.

One of them is this:

Click = big

Close-up of the text:

What’s particularly great about this is that Kobo’s eBooks are ePub using “classic” Adobe DRM. So you can buy nearly anyone — except Kindle owners — an eBook as a gift. The ePub can be read on a Sony Reader, a Barnes & Noble Nook, a Kobo Reader, and other devices.

Also, you can give someone who has an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Palm Pre, or Android 1.6-and-above device an eBook gift and they can read it using the free Kobo software.

If you want someone to choose their own books, Kobo will also offer eGift Cards that can be purchased online.

Well done, Kobo, for beating everyone else!

reposted with permission from Mike Cane’s Xblog


  1. Andrys17 November, 2010

    A problem has been What if the recipient doesn’t want that book on his/her Kindle ? It’ll be interesting to see how they handle this.

    Note that Amazon has got its patent for ‘bad gifts’ 🙂

    1. KoboScott17 November, 2010

      Hi Andrys,

      I’m a product manager at Kobo. Recipients will have the option to exchange the book for store credit. So as to not offend Uncle Bob and his love of knitting, the sender will simply receive a notice that the gift has been delivered.

      Happy Gifting!


      1. Jenn18 November, 2010

        That’s great to hear – that was the first question I wondered about when I heard about this! Can’t wait!

  2. Sari Adilman18 November, 2010

    will it be possible to get gift cards for kobo and if so where can we get them?

    1. Nate the great18 November, 2010

      Kobo plan to have gift cards in December:

      1. KoboScott18 November, 2010

        Just to be clear, this part of the gift guide refers to egift cards/certificates: The ability to send a specific $ amount gift. For physical gift cards…stay tuned for more exciting news next week 😉

  3. Andrys18 November, 2010

    Scott, thanks. I guess you’ll have gift notes that are added too.

    Enjoyed Michael Tamblyn’s “Life Among the Freegans” at BIB10 last month.

  4. Jenn18 November, 2010

    I do hope we’ll be able to buy gift cards through the book stores – I have a ton of chapters gift cards I’m dying to use for my kobo!!

    1. Nate the great18 November, 2010

      I bet they’re working on that.

      1. KoboScott18 November, 2010

        Stay tuned for more exciting news next week…. 🙂

    2. KoboScott25 November, 2010

      So I mentioned some upcoming exciting news earlier…Kobo now accepts Indigo/Chapters physical gift cards when purchasing ebooks!

  5. Liz18 November, 2010

    This is good news. It would be great if Kobo could include wish/shopping lists. I use these features on Amazon more as a “to buy” list for me than as an actual wish list.

    Love the Kobo.

  6. Chris18 November, 2010

    What I want to know: can I use this to get around geographic restrictions?

    Can I pay a friend in the US to gift me a books that I couldn’t buy myself in Australia?

  7. Zigwalski18 November, 2010

    Kobo Scott, just letting you know that I am a fan of Kobo Bookstore. You guys keep sending me discount coupons and I am a sucker for that. Thanks for trying to be competitive on pricing!

  8. Millie25 November, 2010

    Does Kobo accept other gift cards such as Barnes and Noble when purchasing ebooks?

    1. Nate the great25 November, 2010

      I don’t see how they could.


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