JB Hi-Fi's NOW eBook service will be closing its store on September 30th, after merging with eReading giant Rakuten Kobo. This isn't the first time Kobo has acquired another eBook service, with the company also having taken over Sony's Reader Store early last year. It's not particularly bad news for existing customers on JB Hi-Fi's service, however, as they will be transferred over to Kobo's service from the start of October.
“Kobo has a proven track record in ensuring booklovers can continue to read from their digital library and add to it, having worked with major eBook platforms such as the UK’s blinkbox and the Sony Reader Store in the past, and today, we are pleased to welcome JB Hi-Fi’s customers," says Michael Tamblyn, Rakuten Kobo's President. With a catalogue of over 4.7 million books, Tamblyn says they are dedicated to providing a great reading experience for all of their customers. The company is also promising a 'seamless transfer' of user's libraries, although we'll soon see how that plays out in practice. JB Hi-Fi customers who transfer will also be given a $10 account credit when they sign up on the Kobo service.
If you're a user on NOW eBooks you should have already been emailed instructions on how to transfer across to the new service. Books that have already been purchased will still be able to be downloaded until the store's close on Wednesday. Current libraries will be accessible on Kobo's range of eReaders as well as on the free eReading apps available for smartphones and tablets.