Do you want to support Indie Bookstores?

I have a suggestion: Take the KOBO pledge. I plan to.

It’s easy to support an independent bookstore because hundreds are participating in KOBO’s e-reading program.  All you have to do us buy a Kobo e-reader and then click on the following link to contact an individual indie bookstore that is participating in the program close to where you live to discover the details.

List of Indie bookstores that belong to the Kobo e-reading program

For example, in California, I counted fifty-six bookstores. Then I clicked on Green Apple Books in San Francisco—I’ve been there and enjoy browsing and shopping at this indie bookstore that has a unique character of its own. In addition, Green Apple is in one of San Francisco’s three China towns—a fun place to eat and shop.

Here’s what Green Apple Books says, “We’ve partnered with Kobo to bring you eBooks and eReaders, so that however you read, you can support Green Apple and browse our recommendations. Kobo offers over 3 million eBook titles that can be downloaded instantly over Wi Fi and stored in a library you take with you wherever you go. Once you set up your Kobo account through us, from then on all of your Kobo purchases will support Green Apple.

Green Apple has links to pages on their site to the Kobo Mini with a list price of $79.90 and the Kobo Glo for $129.99—very competitive prices compared to Kindle.

Kobo Mini on The View

Therefore, if you are an author/reader—I hope most authors read. It would be a sad day if authors were not readers—and you want to support your local indie bookstore, all the information is in this post. But, first, you must pick out an indie bookstore near you to support by using the first link in this post and contact them to set up your account so all of your purchases will support that local independent bookstore.

I’m not making any money from anyone for this post. So, why am I suggesting taking the Kobo pledge? Because I’m tired of my Kindle giving me problems downloading books I buy through Amazon, and it isn’t easy to keep looking for the help link on Amazon to fix this every time it happens and it has happened several times. I want ease of shopping and ease of use.

And if you are worried that Kobo is a small player in the field, it isn’t. To discover more, I suggest reading what Jeremy Greenfield has to say in Indie Bookstore Sales of Kobo Ebooks Dwarf Google: Still Small – published April 5, 2013

Greenfield says, “According to the ABA, Kobo has helped indies sell more eBooks in its first month working with them late last year than Google did in more than two years in a similar partnership.”

Kobo Aura HD

In addition, Kobo’s market share in Canada in January 2012 was 46% compared to Amazon’s 24%. And in France Kobo has 50% of the market share.  Source: Wiki: Kobo eReader Market share

Kobo-owner Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani says that Kobo is “number one in France; they’re ahead of Amazon in Japan, partially because of us, and Australia and New Zealand as well.” Source: Forbes

If you are dedicated to helping indie bookstores, please retweet, reblog (if you have a WordPress Blog) or share a link to this post to every author/reader you know. I’m going to retire my Kindle e-readers and try out a Kobo. If it is easier to use, then I will stay with it, but I will buy my Kobo from a local indie-bookstore and register my Kobo account through them.

Amazon’s Kindle is not the only game in town, and readers do not have to plunk out several hundred dollars for an Apple iPad to read eBooks.

And if you think indie authors can’t sell books through Kobo, check out Draft2Digital and/or Smashwords to learn why that is not the case.

Kobo in Conversation with Jowita Bydlowska, author of Drunk Mom.

Discover what I think about Barnes & Noble, and if you want more reasons to buy all kinds of books from an indie bookstore—The CEO of Barnes & Noble is William J. Lynch Jr., and he has a basic annual income of $1.62 million (not counting bonuses and stock options). He also owns 846,811 shares of B&N stock. At today’s closing price of $22.16 per share, that comes to almost $19 million—but total debt for Barnes & Noble, Inc. was $155.8 million today, with a quarterly revenue drop of –8.8%. Source:

And “National chains take far more out of a community economically than they ever put back in. According to a study conducted by the firm Civic Economics in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, trading independent retailers for big-box chains weakens the local economy. … Local Payroll: The locally owned businesses spent a larger share of their revenue on local labor (29% vs. 23%), because they carried out all management functions on-site, rather than at a corporate headquarters.” Source:

Now do you understand why I plan to take the Kobo pledge to support an indie bookstore?



Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”



Global Readers of English

In the United States, Digital Book reported, “In 2012, for the first time ever, online channels accounted for more book purchases than bricks-and-mortar retail in the U.S., according to new data from Bowker Market Research.

“In 2012 (through Nov.), 43.8% of books bought by consumers were sold online versus 31.6% sold in large retail chains, independent bookstores, other mass merchandisers and supermarkets. This is nearly a direct reversal of the situation in 2011, when 35.1% of books were sold online and 41.7% were sold in stores.”

In addition, Jeff Bezos said in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report, “After five years, e-books [are] a multibillion-dollar category for us and growing fast—up approximately 70 percent last year. In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a book seller, up just five percent.” Source: Business (January 31, 2013)

Let’s look at this from a global perspective.

According to the British, there are about 1.5 billion English speakers in the world living mostly in seventy-one countries where there are at least a million or more English speakers (not counting Hong Kong, mainland China has 10 million), but how many are avid readers of English—someone who might buy books published in English?

With more books—including e-books—being sold online, you may want to know how many global readers are out there who might want to read a book published in English.

To get an idea, in this post, we’ll focus on five countries with a potentially large market for books published only in English.

1. United States
2. India
3. United Kingdom

For the United States, Book Business Magazine says 62.4 million Americans (20% of total population) are avid readers and 63% are women—34.9 million—leaving 23 million men.

Among avid readers in America surveyed by the AP, the typical woman reads nine books a year, compared with only five for men. Women read more than men in all categories except for history and biography. Source:

In India, the Deccan Herald quoted Ken Follet saying India has more English speaking readers than England … and increasing numbers of books are being sold here … There are apparently 89 million people in India for whom English is the first language. It is more than the number in England.

In addition, The reported, “Boom time for English-language books in India” … the number of books published in English is growing by 30 percent a year.

And “India is the only country in which books are published in some 18 languages, with English representing the most significant share at approx. 40-45 %. India ranks third behind the USA and England in the publication of English-language books. Source:

In the United Kingdom—population 62.6 million—even with discounting, last year UK consumer publishing drew in sales of £1.7bn, up 36% on 2001. Adult fiction saw an increase of 44%, to £476m; and young adult and children’s fiction … saw sales more than double to £325m. Source:

Canada—population 34.5 millionCBC News reported January 2011, that Canadians buy about 2.7 million books a week. … Canada’s population is about 34.5 million, but 42% of Canadians are semi-illiterate and probably do not read many books leaving about 8.56 million Canadian adults—24.8%—that may be avid readers. Source:

Australia—population about 23 million—isn’t much better than Canada with 47% considered functionally illiterate. “That means they can’t read the instructions on a medicine bottle, they can’t read a map, they can’t read a recipe.” Source:

However, a major survey of how Australia engages with the arts revealed that 85% of Austrians—who had to be literate enough to read and answer the survey—are avid readers of poetry and literature. Source: the

Crunch the numbers and Australia may have 8.3 million avid readers—36%.

Note: To arrive at these numbers, children age 14 and younger were subtracted from the total along with the functionally illiterate.

You may be wondering how authors in, say, America, may sell his or her books in India, for example. Well, that’s where Kobo, Amazon and Apple help out.

Amazon has sold my English language e-books—for example—in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, France and Germany.

Kobo has sold my work in the US, Canada and Great Britain while Apple’s iBookstore has sold copies in the US, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia.

In fact, Apple’s iBookstore is available in 51 countries and offers hundreds of categories including cookbooks, history books, biographies, picture books and children’s books with free books available in 155 countries. Source:

Countries where there is an Apple iBookstore:

Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States


In addition, Amazon sells books in 11 countries:

United Kingdom
United States


Note: On March 18, 2013, it was reported that Amazon opened an iBookstore in Taiwan.

And what about KOBO?

According to Kobo, they have attracted millions of readers from more than 170 countries, and Kobo-owner Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani has additionally stated that Kobo is “number one in France; they’re ahead of Amazon in Japan, partially because of us, and Australia and New Zealand as well.”

Then there is the Sony eBook Library store.

Discover more at Authors Finding Readers


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”