Books are Here to Stay: Victoria’s AbeBooks talks adapting for survival and working with Amazon

Transitioning from a small bookshop in Victoria, AbeBooks has grown into a renowned international book marketplace.

AbeBooks is an online book marketplace that:

  • Connects buyers and sellers internationally to find gems in the book industry
  • Was acquired by Amazon, but maintains authority as a separate entity
  • Maintains Victoria headquarters to take advantage of the city’s thriving tech sector

We sat down with Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Manager, to discuss his thoughts on the importance of physical books, how technology has impacted their success, and what the future holds for AbeBooks.

Digging for Gold/Finding the Gems

Technology helps facilitate thousands of sales daily, enabling the company’s expansion from Victoria into Europe. Customers are given more choice and book sellers are supported at a worldwide scale as “the internet does not adhere to international boundaries…Technology connects us to our clients, customers and buyers.”

“If there was a book you’ve always wanted, maybe it’s a signed copy, a book your grandfather wrote 40 – 50 years ago, or a book you’ve always wanted to own but [was] never able to find it, AbeBooks can help in a big way.” 

Having the Ideal Situation

Benefiting via greater access to knowledge, the Amazon acquisition has provided AbeBooks with a brand-new set of tools. Feeding Amazon’s database into their site, AbeBooks receives detailed synopsis and reviews. “They’re very much a resource but they’ve left us as an independent company. We’re close but we still run in our own way.” 

What is the future for AbeBooks?

With technology offering several alternative platforms, it’s common to question the validity of physical books. “What we found from our colleagues at Amazon is, people who use e-readers and use electronic books, also still enjoy to hold a physical copy in their hand…the physical book is still very much loved.” 

The next move for AbeBooks is to expand their inventory to include art and collectibles and continue incorporating new innovations into their business. As Davies points out: “You have to keep relearning. Every year or so there is something new that has influenced the book business or the internet and if you don’t keep changing and adapting to change then you don’t survive.”

Having a great influence on the route of publishing, pop culture and film, it is clear that “books are still as big as ever, as important as ever, [and] as discussed as ever!”

Get online now and start searching for new reads today right here. To learn more about the AbeBooks and their international market, listen to the full interview above.

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