We are kicking off 2021 with a delightful conversation with Kobo’s Chief Content Officer Pieter Swinkels. Pieter has worked for Kobo for almost a decade and previously worked as a publisher in the Netherlands giving him a wealth of experience in the publishing industry, which he was kind of enough to sit down and share with us. Pieter discusses the differences in publishing in North America and Europe, the evolution of digital publishing and his predictions for the future of the industry, and why he believes Kobo remains so competitive and what he’s excited for Kobo to do next.
- Pieter tells us about his career in publishing, and how he went from a microbiology student in Amsterdam to the Chief Content Officer at Kobo in Toronto, and all of the steps in between.
- He explains the differences he has seen between the publishing industry in Europe and in North America, and how the smaller market share in Europe may allow for more experimentation
- Pieter discusses how the publishing industry has evolved throughout his career, how changes in reading habits and content consumption have influenced the industry, and how publishing might continue to change in the future
- He talks about the different mindsets of indie and traditional publishers, and he discusses the areas in which indie publishers excel and what advantages they can have over their traditional counterparts
- Pieter discusses his time at Kobo, and he tells us why he thinks Kobo has remained competitive among digital publishers, how the subscription service Kobo Plus has helped reach new readers, and what he’s excited for Kobo to do next
The Busy Bee Publishing House
Listen to Hamilton on Spotify or Apple Music
Watch Hamilton on Disney+
Watch Normal People on CBC Gem or Hulu
Notes of a Native Son
Listen and Watch Geert Chatrou
Pieter Swinkels is the Chief Content Officer at Rakuten Kobo, a global leader in digital reading. Pieter is responsible for the growth of Kobo’s worldwide content catalogue and driving business relationships with publishers, agents and authors. In addition, his responsibilities include expanding the Kobo Writing Life self-publishing platform, expanding the Kobo Plus subscriptions service, and continuing to build out the Kobo Originals program of new and exclusive eBooks, audiobooks and podcast content.
Pieter formerly held the role of Executive Vice President of Publisher Relations and Content. Prior to joining Rakuten Kobo in 2011, Pieter worked in the international publishing industry, most notably as Publisher at De Bezige Bij in Amsterdam.