It hasn’t officially launched but I just noticed that Kobo has launched their subscription “library” e-book service Kobo Plus in Australia to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and Kobo e-reader device integration with Libby/Overdrive ebooks at your local library.

The Kobo Plus Australian website says it costs $13.99/month + “applicable taxes” which is hardly surprising since that’s the same Australian price as it’s arch rival Kindle Unlimited .

Currently, Kobo Plus subscriptions are exclusively available in select countries, a curious group containing Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and now Australia.

You can start a Kobo Plus trial on either kobo.com or a Kobo eReader, select Start Free Trial on the item details screen of an eligible Kobo Plus book, or from the end of its preview. If you don’t have a Kobo account already, you’ll be asked to provide your credit card and billing information.

Kobo Books - eBooks & Audiobooks
Kobo Books - eBooks & Audiobooks

You can also start your free Kobo Plus trial in the Kobo App for Android which is where I just noticed the promo for Kobo Plus while I was buying a book. If you’re using the Kobo App for iOS, you’ll need to visit kobo.com to start your trial.

After the free trial period, Kobo will charge you $13.99 a month plus any applicable taxes (which you’d guess is GST), unless you cancel. Your credit card will not be charged if you cancel before the trial period is over.

What if you only turn your e-reader Wi-Fi on every few weeks or are going on holiday and don’t want to connect your Kobo e-reader to hotel WiFi?

They say you can read Kobo Plus ebooks with your e-reader offline. You can read a maximum of 15 Kobo Plus ebooks while offline over a 30-day period on a Kobo eReader or in the Kobo App.

Once you’ve opened 15 ebooks, or reached the end of the 30-day period of offline reading, you’ll need to reconnect to Wi Fi and sync your eReader or app. You’ll then be able to open up to 15 Kobo Plus ebooks for another 30 days.

Like Kindle Unlimited, not every ebook from Kobo is available to read with a Kobo Plus subscription. Kobo says there are “hundreds of thousands of ebooks currently available through Kobo Plus” in Australia, with more being added all the time. Whether any of these books are ones you like is of course unknown until you check out their online listing.

If logged into your Kobo account and you have an active subscription, any time you see an eBook with the option “Read with Kobo Plus”, it’s available for you to read.

What do you think of the new Kobo Plus subscription service?

I think it might appeal to people who like Crime and Romance fiction but I don’t read those genres so I’ll stick with buying the occasional Kobo book or borrowing ebooks from my local library via their Kobo ereader device integration with Libby/Overdrive ebooks.

Libby, by OverDrive
Libby, by OverDrive
Developer: OverDrive, Inc.
Price: Free