RealTime IT News

40,000 People Chase 20,000 Books at BOL

In Wednesday's great giveaway of books, Bertelsmann subsidiary BOL received 40,000 visitors, most of whom were hoping to get one of the 20,000 free books being offered.

BOL appears to be pleased with the result, although marketing experts will point out that the company merely succeeded in adding 20,000 non-paying customers, plus a further 20,000 disappointed customers to its subscriber base. Thousands more failed to access the site at all, as the servers were overloaded.

To fend off criticism, BOL UK managing director Alexander Broich announced Thursday that for additional orders placed after all the books were gone, BOL will send a free book anyway -- although he did not say if it would be the one that customers requested.

"We are delighted with the response to this promotion, and thank all customers for their ongoing support and welcome the new BOL subscribers today," said Brioch.

"This proves that the UK is definitely online, and there are a hordes of UK surfers out there looking for bargains!"

The giveaway promotion celebrated the first six months of BOL trading in Europe. Visitors were offered a selection of six bestsellers and could choose one per household.

BOL is the online business of Bertelsmann, the media company that also owns 50 percent of the U.S. online bookstore, barnesandnoble.com.