I hadn’t heard this. But I have heard that Kobo has a deal with Walmart for e-books,
Kobo and D2D both use Overdrive to make ebooks available in the library catalogues. D2D also lists in Bibliotheca and Baker&Taylor. Kobo is partnered with Walmart but there are still teething issues that need to be worked through there.
I could be wrong, but I think I know what Harlequin and the other romance imprints need to do. I hate to say it, but they need to follow the model of all the pirates who’ve stolen my books. These pirates seem to offer either a one-time membership fee or a continuing subscription fee that gives the reader immediate access to millions of titles. Unfortunately the pirates are offering nothing but stolen works, but Harlequin can offer their own books. They’d make a fortune from those voracious readers. What they’re offering right now in the way of subscriptions is too expensive and too few books for what you’re paying. (ノ_<、)ヾ(´▽｀)
There is something like that - it’s called KU I don’t have a subscription but I understand Amazon frequently offers really cheap deals on annual subscriptions. Many romance authors are making significant money from having their titles available in Kindle Unlimited.
I think your Sears - Harlequin analogy is pretty spot on. They both had huge opportunities and an amazingly large customer pool. Had they embraced the changes, the could have cleaned up. But they stuck with “status quo” and the world passed them by.