U.K. Bookseller Readies for U.S. Web Launch


The Book Depository, a British online retailer, is gearing up for the launch of its U.S. Web site next month. Designed to make the Gloucester-based bookseller more competitive against North American vendors, the site will feature content and pricing geared toward American customers.

Britain’s largest dedicated online bookseller—as well as the fastest growing such company in the world—the Book Depository takes in more than half of its ₤41 million in annual sales from customers outside the U.K. The site places particular emphasis on rare and out of print titles, and ships orders free worldwide.

“The launch of a tailored dot-com Web site is a crucial step towards developing our brand internationally, and offering locally appropriate content and pricing,” managing director Kieron Smith told the Bookseller. The North American expansion, he said, was part of a plan to offer a “greater selection of titles plus more competitive prices.”

Founded in 2004 by former Amazon employee Andrew Crawford, the Book Depository provides print-on-demand services for more than three hundred thousand out-of-print books. Through its Dodo Press imprint, the company digitizes and reissues approximately two hundred public domain titles each week. The Book Depository won Direct Bookselling Company of the Year at the 2009 British Book Industry Awards.