When comparing Kobo Books vs WHSmith, the Slant community recommends Kobo Books for most people. In the question“What are the best eBook stores?” Kobo Books is ranked 2nd while WHSmith is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose Kobo Books is:
The Kobo eBook store offers a separate file download (most of the time) from within a users browser. this file is called and .ascm file and is what is used to add an .epub to the [Adobe Digital Edition software](https://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions/download.html).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Offers separate Adobe Digital Editions downloads
The Kobo eBook store offers a separate file download (most of the time) from within a users browser. this file is called and .ascm file and is what is used to add an .epub to the Adobe Digital Edition software.
Pro Send eBooks as gift
Kobo Books eBook store allows users to send eBooks as gifts to their friends and loved ones.
Pro Self publish
Kobo offers a way for users to self publish their own eBooks with a service called Writing Life.
Pro Many coupons
Kobo often offers a lot of coupons for their eBook store. Some being as high as 80% off coupons. Though most only work on non agency eBooks, so not that great if the user only reads the newest of releases.
Pro Instant quality with Kobo eReaders, apps and eBooks store
Instead of developing their own eBook store, eReaders or reading apps WHSmith has the instant gratification of offering quality products with an established brand.
Pro WHSmith and Kobo partnership create competition
A good thing about the WHSmith eBook store and its Kobo partnership is that it creates competition in the UK for eBook stores and devices. WIth competition comes better prices and innovation.
Con Not all eBooks sold on the site are Adobe Digital Editions compatible (.epub)
For some reason not all the eBooks available on the Kobo eBook site are downloadable as .ascm files. Most likely Kobo leaves this up to the publisher, as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt does not have a single book on the Kobo store that offers a separate .ascm download. What most users are unaware of is that the Kobo store is not primarily an .epub bookstore. Kobo uses a proprietary format called .kepub that only works on their own Kobo branded devices. Many of the books they sell do offer a separate .ascm file download, but not all. What exacerbates this issue is that there is currently no way for a user to know if an .ascm will be offered until after purchase.
Con Kobo randomly changes prices
Depending on whether a user is logged in, different prices will be shown on non agency eBooks. Non agency eBooks allow for Kobo to set the price of the title instead of the publisher and sadly it does appear as though Kobo has taken advantage of this to entice new users into thinking their books are priced lower than they actually are.
Con Desktop app doesn't function
Con Some titles not available on the store
While most mainstream books can be found easily, there are a few smaller titles that are just not on the store at all.
Con Just a re-branded Kobo eBook store
WHSmith has entered a contract to where they are now partnered with Kobo. With this deal WHSmith has replaced their old eBook store with a Kobo powered alternative. Basically it is just a WHSmith skin over the Kobo eBook store.
Con UK only store
eBooks are only priced in GBP.