Kobo Writing Life

Kobo Plus Launched in Netherlands

On February 22, 2017, Rakuten Kobo and bol.com launched ‘Kobo Plus’ – a new subscription service offering readers the largest all-you-can-read selection of digital books in The Netherlands and Belgium, with titles ranging from new releases and bestsellers to classics and old favourites, including both Dutch and international titles. Customers can try the eBook subscription service free of charge for 30 days.

“Kobo Plus allows readers to effortlessly discover new authors and try out new genres that they might not otherwise try, encouraging people to read more,” says Pieter Swinkels, Executive Vice-President, Rakuten Kobo. “The extensive selection available through our subscription service means the only thing readers need to consider is what book to read next.”

Kobo Plus was developed in close collaboration with leading Dutch publishers. The subscription service operates on a fair-share model, with payouts funded by subscription revenues, which enables a self-sustaining service built for the long-term—encouraging publishers to offer a wide selection of books from all genres. Kobo Plus was designed with the booklover in mind, and provides book recommendations tailored to individual readers’ interests.

Kobo Plus is available to customers in Netherlands & Belgium. Read more about Kobo Plus here (including the Terms & Conditions)

Read the full Press Release


Kobo Writing Life authors can opt in to Kobo Plus via the Rights and Distribution tab in their KWL Dashboard.

The full Terms and Conditions for opting in to Kobo Plus appear on this same screen.

Authors should note that there is no exclusivity required in order to take advantage of this opportunity for earning revenue from a new demographic of customer in NL and BE that, prior to Kobo Plus, weren’t being served.

Authors should also note that if you opt a title in to Kobo Plus that you can’t opt that title out for 6 months 3 months. This allows us to ensure that Kobo merchandisers and our partners have the ability to plan and schedule various feature spots and be able to include titles in the 6 to 12 week lead-time that they require (which is much harder to do if titles keep disappearing from the catalog due to the whims of being seduced by exclusivity requests from that “river” place)


The Kobo Plus Payout Model (Example)

Let’s say in a particular month there are 100,000 subscribers paying €9,99, and they read a total of 150,000 books

(read at least 20%). The payout is based on the Title’s Price x the Price Factor:


Reading Activity Value = Total number  of ‘reads’ x prices of the eBooks reads.

Reading Activity Value = 150,000 x prices = €1,065,000 (all numbers VAT excl.)

Price factor = Total revenues for the month ÷  Reading activity Value

Price Factor = €825,000 ÷ €1,065,000 = 0.77464 (all numbers VAT excl.)


A title was read 1,00 times

The title has a price: € 7,43 (excl VAT.)

The title gets € 7,43 x 0.77464 x 100 = € 575.56

Publisher/Author receive 60% = €345.33

Retailer receives 40% = €230.22

[EDITED July 2017 – Terms have been revised from 6 months to 3 months]