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Kobo enters the ebook buffet arena with Kobo Plus, but there’s a catch

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Why it matters to you

More options for your ebook needs are usually a good thing, but there is a huge catch with Kobo Plus.

Ebook subscription services are not particularly new — Amazon launched its Kindle Unlimited service in 2014 while Scribd has been mainly known as an ebook subscription service since 2013. Now that such services have become somewhat of a trend, Kobo thought it was time to throw its hat into the arena with Kobo Plus.

Similar to the aforementioned competitors, Kobo Plus is an ebook subscription service that lets you read over 40,000 titles — 10,000 are in Dutch — for 10 euros (around $10.50). The available titles include new releases and bestsellers, as well as more older titles, though it might be best to look over the list and make sure there are books that appeal to you.

More: How to get ebooks on your Kindle, Nook, or Kobo ebook reader

In terms of revenue, Kobo said it worked with “leading Dutch publishers” to develop a fair-share model that doles out payments funded by the subscription revenues. The company did not say what slice of the pie these publishers receive, but Kobo insists the payment model allows Kobo Plus to stand on its own two feet for the long term.

As has been hinted at, however, there is one big catch with Kobo Plus — it is currently only available in Belgium and the Netherlands. According to Kobo, this is because the company has seen large growth in the two countries, to the point where one in seven non-fiction books sold in the Netherlands is digital. Furthermore, Kobo has sold 1.2 million of its ebook readers in the Netherlands, which means that roughly 1 in 16 people in the country own a Kobo-branded ebook reader.

Kobo Plus is now available in the two launch countries, though Kobo did not say whether the service will cross borders into other countries. Similar to Kindle Unlimited and Scribd, you can try Kobo Plus free of charge for 30 days, after which you will need to decide whether the service is for you.