Toronto-born Kobo is creating a publishing arm that deals directly with authors, a la Amazon, according to CBC News.
The new service is expected to launch in 2012, CEO Michael Serbinis said.
Like Amazon, which announced two weeks ago that it would be publishing 122 original titles this fall, Kobo will be offering complete publishing services for authors, including book editing and design.
"It's part of the new market and if you expect to be a number 1 player in that market globally it's table stakes — you have to provide it," Serbinis told CBC News.
The head of the Writers' Union of Canada, Greg Hollingshead, expects Amazon and Kobo will gobble up a bunch of business that would otherwise go to traditional publishers.
More and more authors—not just new ones, but established ones too—are choosing to go with Amazon over "legacy" publishers because royalty rates are higher, process timelines are shorter, and distribution is greater.
Amazon works just fine for Canadians, but hopefully Kobo can bring that extra level attention to home-soil authors when its service goes live.