Australia’s largest online bookseller, Booktopia has seen a 285% increase in historical fiction book purchases, In the wake of social distancing measures. Further, readership of thrillers has increased by 157%, crime by 127% and by 110% in fiction.

On the back of the sales surge, subsidiary of Japanese electronic commerce and online retailing company Rakuten Inc, Rakuten Kobo has penned a deal with Booktopia as exclusive digital partners. Through the partnership Booktopia by Rakuten Kobo, Australian readers will gain access to Kobo’s five million titles, including eBooks and audiobooks.

The announcement follows Booktopia’s recent $20 million capital raise from private investors in February 2020.

Booktopia CEO, Tony Nash said the bookseller is in tune with customer needs and it is a constant goal to bring them new ways of immersing themselves in reading.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Rakuten Kobo and expanding our digital footprint in Australia by launching a new offering of ebooks, audiobooks and devices. Together with Kobo, we are exploring new ways to make reading easier for customers by offering exceptional experience however they prefer to shop and read,” he said.

Rakuten Kobo CEO and president, Michael Tamblyn said the company’s greatest successes come working with great booksellers.

“Booktopia’s combination of deep expertise and loyal customers is the perfect complement to Kobo’s focus on creating excellent digital reading experiences,” he said.

“Collaborative partnership with booksellers has been hugely successful in other markets like Canada, where we were founded by and continue to partner with book retailer Indigo; the Netherlands where we are partnered with; or France and Spain where we’ve partnered with Fnac, to name a few.

“If a book retailer is fielding a competitive ereading experience in the face of global competition, we are usually working with them. We look forward to this next phase of growth in Australia.”