Following in the steps of international online book seller, Amazon.com, local start up OzBooks is taking Australian books to the Web. The launch of OzBooks.com last week, which was developed in partnership with ninemsn, is set to challenge the American dominance of the Internet book market in Australia.
The locally owned and operated online book store is based upon the successful international models, offering products comparable to its overseas counterparts. The database currently lists around one million titles, and the company plans to expand this to four million by next year. Power searches can be conducted using keyword searches under title, author and ISBN. Main subjects, such as current world events, or even gift ideas for anniversaries can also be searched.
Strongly featured on the site is a "rich range" of Australian books which are often not covered by overseas based online book stores.
Peter Blake, Penguin Australia's sales director believes most online stores turn a blind eye to Aussie books.
"Are Amazon and their ilk beating a path to our door to market Australian books? No. As far as they're concerned, we don't exist," he said.
The impending GST, to be implemented next year, and its effects on the competitiveness of local online book stores was discussed by Rafael Chavan de Montero, OzGlobal CEO. "It is a decision which will strengthen the tax-free overseas Web sites and make it even more difficult for an Australian company like ours, to break the (North) American dominance on the market," he said.