Kobo is Listing eBook Formats Again, Also Has Another Go at Posting Book Reviews

Over the past few weeks Kobo updated its website with a couple new features which readers will appreciate.

The retailer is now once again showing the ebook format data which vanished in its last major site renovation. Or at least Kobo is showing the info on some titles they sell; in its usual hit or miss fashion, Kobo does not show the data for all titles. A quick search found the details showing on only about half of the ebooks, which according to a commenter are the ones which can be downloaded. But where it does display the details, Kobo will tell you whether the file has DRM, and the format (Epub, Epub3, PDF, etc).

Kobo has also added a new review section to its website. I haven’t seen the reviews anywhere, but my competitor reports that Kobo is now drawing reviews from iDreambooks, the book review aggregator. This is the same company which Sony signed with last year when Sony was still trying to build its ebook business.

The reviews reportedly appear towards the bottom of a listing, below the recommended titles. I can’t see them, so I’ll just have to take everyone’s word for that.

4935451128_69c76be9d3[1]That new review section is labeled “Top Critic Reviews”, and according to one commenter it is shown immediately following the user review section.

I can’t see that section either, but I do know that Kobo started adding user reviews in May 2014. That was when they launched a new page which let anyone with a Facebook account give a star rating and write a review. This is the first I have heard that the reviews had gone live.

The Kobo website has been absent reviews since July 2013, when it cut ties with Goodreads (which had been bought by Amazon only a few months before).

images by David Blackwellmind on fire


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. LS10 December, 2014

    I’m happy to see the formats listed again, it makes it a lot easier to avoid ePub3’s and PDF’s!

    1. Frank Lee10 December, 2014

      Interesting. A new version is supposed to be better than an old one. EPUB seems to be an exception.

  2. LCNR10 December, 2014

    I’d stopped buying e-books from Kobo for that precise reason, so as soon as I finished reading your post I went off to purchase a couple of books I’d had my sights on for a while.

    It’s great to have the format info back, but I found the site to be buggy as hell:

    First, when I clicked on the book (“Axis” by Charles Robert Wilson at Tor Books’), I got a message at the top of the product page saying that it was unavailable in my country, France. I got that with a couple of other books I tried, too, so I’d almost given up (cursing Kobo and geographical restrictions) when suddenly, upon trying again, I suddenly got a message-free page with a Buy button and I was able to add the book to my cart. I did the same thing with the other book (“Vortex” — same author / same publisher), clicking and going back until I could buy it.

    Then, when I went to check out my cart, the total was 12.64 € ( 6.32 € x 2) but when I got to the payment method page (on the second try because the first time I got an “Oops! Page not available” message) it’d suddenly been bumped up to 13.94 €, no explanations. Again, I was going to give up after a couple of tries (I want to know what I pay for) when suddenly I got the page with the right price. It still took another two tries after that (I got another “Oops!” message in between) but I finally got to the PayPal website and paid. (There was no issues with downloading the e-books from my bookshelf after that.)

    The availability issue is annoying but it’s mostly a potential lost sale for Kobo. The price issue, on the other hand, is much more serious in my opinion since it seems like you could be paying more than you owe; you’d better keep good count and double-check before proceeding with the payment.

  3. Fbone10 December, 2014

    Kobo is only listing the “Download Options.” If the book is not downloadable (kepub), then Kobo leaves the line blank.

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 December, 2014

      Thanks for the clarification.

  4. Greg Strandberg11 December, 2014

    Kobo seems a rather backward company. These changes could and should have been made months ago. No reviews since summer 2013? That’s poor management, plain and simple, and it cost their investors money in lost sales.


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