Global publisher Pearson has internet giant Amazon in its sights with the launch of an Australian-based online bookseller.
The publisher has rebranded the Borders.com.au site which Pearson bought for less than $5 million after owner REDGroup’s collapse last year. The company says its new Bookworld.com.au site is aiming to compete with Amazon on price and delivery, offering free shipping with two-to-three day delivery to any capital city on Australian books. Bookworld has about 100,000 e-book customers and a total of 750,000 customers on its database.
“You’ve got to have a price that will get you to market and clearly Amazon are the benchmark,” said Bookworld chief James Webber.
“We compete with Amazon very effectively that includes no shipping costs.”
Mr Webber said that 50 per cent of Bookworld’s stock was sourced in Australia.
REDgroup was unable to compete with global retailers like Amazon and Book Depository because of higher book prices in Australia.
Under current pricing offers, the cost of Christopher Hitchens’ book Mortality is $23.95 from Amazon with delivery taking up to a month. Bookworld offers the same book at $19.99 to its club card holders with three-day delivery.
Bookworld said it has sold more e-books than physical books in the past month in another sign of how quickly the book industry was changing.