RealTime IT News

Book Wars Heat Up

Booksellers in the UK are beginning to match ISPs for the intensity of their rivalry.

Coinciding with the opening of Waterstone's largest bookstore in Europe, online bookseller BOL said Thursday it would feature Book Track bestseller lists on its site -- and discount the titles of top 10 books by 50 per cent.

In the physical world, Waterstone's Piccadilly boasts 66,000 square feet of floor space, 265,000 titles, 1,500,000 books, and six miles of shelves on seven floors.

But can the new store and others like it -- including the gigantic Borders on Oxford Street -- compete with the low prices of online sellers? Waterstone's seems to think so. After all, it is online as well.

BOL, however, has no physical presence in the market, but is capturing headlines by offering deep discounts and even, on occasion, giving books away.

BOL is now the first online bookseller to feature the Book Track best-seller list with its multiple categories of hardback fiction and non-fiction, paperback fiction and non-fiction, and children's books.

"BOL is pleased to bring Book Track bestseller lists onto the site as this is the first time online customers have been offered national bestseller lists," said Alexander Broich, managing director for BOL in the UK.

"Our commitment to 50 per cent discounts is one of a range of initiatives we are launching designed to make BOL the number one choice for online book buyers in the UK."

BOL also operates in Germany, France and the Netherlands, and says it plans to open in Spain and Switzerland in the next few months.