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Powering Kobo’s Global Digital Magazine Expansion

Digital Content Development


Kobo is a global leader in eReading services, offering more than 4 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers to millions of readers in nearly 190 countries. They offer award-winning devices and top-ranked eReading applications for Apple, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows products.


Kobo had recently acquired Aquafadas, a technology company with a digital publishing platform for enhancing content with rich media. As Kobo entered new international markets, their digital magazine inventory was expanding. They wanted to improve the value of these new publications with rich media.

Kobo had the right tool, but lacked the ability to quickly and efficiently scale production.


Kobo turned to Aptara for the expertise and manpower they needed to produce new enhanced magazines quickly and accurately. Aptara assigned 35 subject matter experts (SME’s), who were extensively vetted and trained by Kobo before production began.

Using the Aquafadas platform, the Aptara team converts English and foreign language magazine PDFs to AVE PDF format for all Kobo apps and devices. The workflow includes:

  • Review of PDF source files for completeness and usability
  • Cropping, ordering and grouping articles
  • Proofreading the table of contents (TOC) for accuracy and order
  • QA testing of each file on the Kobo Arc device
  • Creating the final build and uploading to the Kobo server

Aptara uses a flexible production process in which content identification and zoning tasks are highly automated, but SME’s help identify and categorize articles and advise on smart recognition principles. This balanced approach helps ensure on-time delivery and an improved reader experience.

Aptara and Kobo worked closely together to determine the best approach to incorporating the Aquafadas platform into the final workflow.


Converting an average of 850 magazines per month, Aptara provides Kobo with:

  • High quality digital products that meet strict design standards
  • Fast turnaround, ranging from 4 hours to 2 days
  • 24x7 support with seamless interaction between the Kobo and Aptara teams
  • Conversion in multiple languages (English, French, Italian)