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Hear it Here First: Rakuten Kobo Launches Kobo Originals

January 24, 2018

Toronto, ONJanuary 24, 2018 – Rakuten Kobo today announced its Kobo Originals program, offering readers exclusive original eBook and audiobook content. Kobo is working closely with industry partners to find great titles to make available in digital format to Kobo customers in France, the Netherlands and Canada. To kick off the program here, the audiobook version of Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People, narrated by Sonja Field, is now available exclusively with Kobo:

“Everything we do is for the reader, and our best customers have told us exclusive content is something they want to see from us,” said Pieter Swinkels, Executive Vice President, Publisher Relationships & Content, Rakuten Kobo. “We are pleased to be launching our Kobo Originals programs with Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist, Zoe Whittall and The Best Kind of People. We are quickly ramping up the program, and are working in close collaboration with agents and publishers to create a robust exclusive catalogue to serve booklovers here in Canada and abroad. There is a lot more to come, with more exclusive content launching throughout the year.”

More about The Best Kind of People:

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable? George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt? With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.

*Sarah Polley, the writer-director behind Stories We Tell and Away From Her, has optioned the film rights to The Best Kind of People, and is slated to write and direct the film herself.

About narrator Sonja Field

Sonja grew up in Philadelphia, PA. She obtained her BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University, and has acted in regional theatre in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York. She has narrated and produced over 30 audiobooks.

Sonja now lives in London, and is obtaining her MFA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is an actor, voice coach and dialect coach.

About Rakuten Kobo

Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering more than 5 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any Reader’s style including Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE; along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple® and Android®. Kobo’s award-winning eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Sinead McElhinney
Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Specialist, Public Relations
416 977 8737 ext.3382

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