Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Big W launches ebookstore

Australian discount department store Big W is now selling ebooks.

The Big W ebookstore, which is separate to the retailer’s main website, launched this morning and can be accessed here. The store is powered by OverDrive, with ebooks available in EPUB and PDF formats and able to be read on all devices that support Adobe digital rights management (DRM).

The roll-out of the store is being managed by Scott White, who has recently taken over as head of books at Big W from Meredith Drake, who is on maternity leave. White was previously sales director at Murdoch Books.

White told Books+Publishing that the Big W ebookstore currently offers around 300,000 ebooks from a mix of international and Australian publishers. Among the local publishers with titles in the ebookstore are Hachette, Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Allen & Unwin, Bloomsbury, Text Publishing, Scribe Publications and the University of Queensland Press. The ebook of Steve Waugh’s self-published book The Meaning of Luck is also available from the ebookstore as part of Big W’s exclusive distribution deal for the title.

White said that Big W’s ‘focus is on Australian content’ and the retailer is keen to work with as many local publishers as possible.

White said Big W decided to enter the ebook market to ‘extend its offer’ to its customers as ‘Australia’s biggest bookseller’. He said the Big W parent company Woolworths has also surveyed its customers about their ereading habits and found that 30% of customers surveyed had purchased and read an ebook for the first time in 2012.

White said that Woolworths customers also reported purchasing different genres of books as ebooks compared to their print book purchases, with genres such romance coming out on top. The Big W ebookstore is currently highlighting Australian romance titles.

Big W sells print books online through its main store and stocks a range of ereaders and tablets, including Kobo, Kindle and Samsung products.



Category: Local news