The earth's biggest online book retailer is just about to get bigger--a whole lot bigger.
Amazon has reached a purchase agreement with the extremely popular Victoria, British Columbia based used book online marketplace AbeBooks (formerly known as Advanced Book Exchange). If the purchase deal goes through--and it most assuredly will--it's likely that Amazon will add another 110 million books to their already huge database in the near future. Here's Amazon's press release.
Should book lovers be worried or rejoice? Though AbeBooks has been told by their soon-to-be new owner that they will continue to operate independently, remain in Canada and keep the same staff, it's likely that Amazon will drive more traffic to their new acquisition by integrating the AbeBooks database into their own. If that happens it will be interesting to see what will become of Amazon's already existing marketplace for booksellers (Amazon Marketplace) as many of those booksellers also list their book inventories in the AbeBooks database.
Is having one company own the central database for books a good thing? Google, for instance, has grown so big and is so synonymous with the web that many internet users enter a website address into the Google search engine bypassing the URL locator bar of their browser. Could this also happen with Amazon and books?
At photo-eye, we offer an Amazon choice as requested by many of our customers. Many of you love our site but simply can't justify the price difference (we can't stay in business offering free freight and huge discounts on new books). With the Amazon choice our customers can still support photo-eye (we get a small slice of the pie) and save money too.
The bottom line is that Amazon just keeps getting bigger. Whether or not that's a good thing for the book business and book community as a whole continues to be a fiercely debated topic by publishers, booksellers and the book loving public.
Let me know your thoughts on this one by posting a comment below.
Read the Vancouver Sun news report.