Given that a lot of us are thoroughly fed up with Amazon (and even if you agree with their plans for ebook pricing you have to admit that their behavior over the last few days has been petulant and childish), what do we do about selling books online? In time-honored Internet fashion I asked my readers for suggestions. The one that sounded most promising, as it provided worldwide coverage and an excellent selection of books, was The Book Depository.
Why do I like these people? To start with take a look at the responses to this post. They clearly have a lot of happy customers out there. Also one of the responses came from a chap called Kieron Smith who just happens to be the Managing Director (that’s British for CEO) of the company. That shows that they are on the ball. Having signed up for their affiliate program I was very impressed with the range of options available. It is going to take me a while to digest it all.
Of course I had reservations. One of those was how they would deal with small presses. Bearing in mind what people like Gavin Grant and Ben Jeapes have been saying about Amazon over the past few days, I didn’t want to get yelled at by publishers. As far as I can make out, TBD work mainly through major distributors such as IPG, Ingram and Baker & Taylor. As you’ll see from the comments to that previous post, Steven H Silver has been making inquiries about getting ISFiC books stocked and is happy so far. This bodes well.
I have also been looking around the TBD web site. They have an impressive list of awards, and staff with a solid background in the book trade. And personally I’m extremely happy to have found a UK company that really knows how to do a web site. Our train companies could learn something from these guys.
Of course there may be problems down the road, but from my first day’s contact with these folks I have been impressed enough with these folks to give them a try. It will take a while to convert everything over, if only because their links use the full 13-character ISBN and I’ve been using the 10-character one ever since Emerald City days, so I have a lot of data entry to do. However, if you want to take a look at their store you can do so though this link (UK and hopefully European users should see a link from there through to the UK site.) And if you want to check out their affiliate scheme you can do so here (noting that I’ll get a referral commission if you use that link).