Kobo would like you to know that this is not true. Even though Kobo has said that they have a negligible share of the US ebook market, the device maker still has an ongoing partnership with the American Bookseller Association's IndieBound program, and according to that website can claim nearly 500 bookstores as partners.
In fact, Kobo has launched a new promotion today to encourage its partners to recruit new customers. From the press release:
The eRead Local program is set to launch later this summer and will run for 100 days, with the exact timing to be determined. Participating ABA members will receive $5 USD per new Kobo customer acquired. What’s more, each new customer who creates a Kobo account through an affiliate ABA member will receive a $5 USD credit for use toward their first purchase of a Kobo eBook.
ABA members who acquire 100 new customers will be entered for a chance to win an in-store event with a bestselling author, and those who acquire 50 new customers will be eligible for a chance to win Kobo eReaders for in-store customer contests to help generate further in-store foot traffic. In addition, members will be provided with a full Kobo marketing kit, which will include a term sheet, promotional posters, online banners, and a reading app communication guideline.
Isn't it interesting that Kobo isn't trying to sell hardware, just get readers signed up?
I'm not criticizing, just noting that when the program launched, it was all ereaders all the time. Now (as Kobo approaches the end of its three-year contract with Indiebound) Kobo has adapted to the modern era where people are more likely to read on their mobile device than buy an ereader to read on it. Chances are, the people who would buy an ereader already own one, and it works fine.
image by brewbooks