Monday, June 26, 2006

Something big happening in online book market

It's not easy to say for sure what is happening in the online book market but something big is on the go. The picture looks something like this: Abebooks, the major book site, is moribund from many booksellers' point of view and is losing listers fast. Alibris is not performing well since its takeover. Its interface is messy and confusing. Amazon is still out there, but it has become such a huge supermarket that it has lost its book edge. New kid on the block, Biblio, is a wonderful website, offering the best for buyer and seller, and it is growing, but just not fast enough. It charges listers no fees until they sell a listed book, not like Alibris and Abebooks, which charge sellers "rent" as well as commission, so Biblio can't afford to publicize itself enough. And here comes Google base, determined to create a way for booksellers (or megalisters of anything on sites such as eBay too) to circumvent all of the above by making their inventories available with search results appearing on Google and Froogle. This is a real threat to the non-search engine megalister sites. Who can say where the online book market will be in five years time?


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