Australia

Go Read This | Hardie Grant buys Quadrille | The Bookseller

Interesting move by Hardie Grant. in buying Quadrille it’s acquired one of those interesting properties that has book solid print viability (lovely books) and decent prospects of digital expansion via online niches:

Hardie Grant, set up in 1997, employs 150 staff across offices in Melbourne, Sydney and London. In London, it has a staff of seven, selling Australian books into the UK as well as commissioning new titles. The company previously distributed Quadrille’s titles in Australia.

Stephen King, m.d. at Hardie Grant Books UK said: “We’ve been in the UK now for four years, and are very interested in expanding our reach in international markets. Quadrille is a great fit for us—one of their Carluccio books was the first title we distributed in Australia in our early days.”

Cathie said: “Hardie Grant have been Quadrille’s distributor in Australia for many years, and are already close colleagues of the company, so we are delighted to have found a like-minded, independent partner to take the company forward in its illustrated books and stationery publishing and strengthen its presence in the digital arena.”

via Hardie Grant buys Quadrille | The Bookseller.

Go Read This | Travel guide gurus open new chapter in publishing career

I’m intrigued by this news on many levels. There’s much to admire in Text. I can see how the ending of the Canongate link up may present challenges but opportunities too, especially when the new owners are possessors of deep pockets like the Wheelers. It’s the hint that the move on Canongate’s part might be a defensive one, a move to retrench back to the UK market that intrigues the most.

The Wheelers bought their stake in Text from Jamie Byng, the head of Edinburgh-based publisher Canongate with which Text entered a partnership in 2004. Negotiations took place over the past few months, with the deal sealed last Friday. Mr Byng said he sold to refocus on the UK market.

Text Publishing was established about 20 years ago by former McPhee Gribble publisher Di Gribble as part of Eric Beechers Text Media. Michael Heyward has run the company since publishing its first book, Shane Maloneys Stiff, in 1994. He, his wife, senior editor Penny Hueston, and Mr Byng bought the publisher in 2004 from John Fairfax, owner of The Age, which had bought Text Media in January of that year.

via Travel guide gurus open new chapter in publishing career.

Go Read This | Amazon to Acquire The Book Depository – Yahoo! Finance

UPDATE: According to a tweet sent this afternoon, the copany will retain operational independence from Amazon.

Congrats to the Book Depository team. I guess this is a case of, ‘How do you know you are doing something right? Amazon acquires you!’

It’s hard to know what the play is here. It could be any of:

1) Increasing UK and European exposure
2) Building a better position in Australia
3) Defensive market-share building

Or any number of other things. There must be some worries about competition approval, at least in the UK, with this.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN – News) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire The Book Depository International. The Book Depository is an online bookseller offering over six million books for delivery worldwide.

“Customers in more than 100 countries enjoy The Book Depository’s vast selection, convenient delivery and free shipping,” said Greg Greeley, Amazon’s Vice President of European Retail. “The Book Depository is very focused on serving its customers around the world, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Amazon family.”

Amazon to Acquire The Book Depository – Yahoo! Finance.

Go Read This | Fly the Falcon: Book Depository vs Book Stores

Cracking post this about book buying and selling in Australia from a book buyers perspective:

The Australian Booksellers Association has been pushing on behalf of retailers for the government to introduce GST on imported goods under $1000, which would effectively raise the price of books on Book Depository by 10%. On 18th December a Productivity Commission inquiry was announced to examine the concern of retailers, so expect a war of words between retailers and consumer groups in the next 6 months. It is worth pointing out that in the case of my 118 books, adding 10% to their purchase price would result in a spend of $1636.38, still $1102.50 less than had I purchased them at Borders, and $714.33 less than Readings.

via Fly the Falcon: Book Depository vs Book Stores.

Go Read This | Book battle: Dymocks considers offshore option – ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Fascinating story this. I’ve heard and been part of a few conversations about this phenomenon for some time. It is interesting both from the perspective of the booksellers and the publishing, and the state’s perspective. It demonstrates the way that external actors can undermine a state’s tax base. I wonder if, like in some US states, the government will actually start imposing a sales tax on foreign/non-state based outlets?

Take Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller, The Millennium Trilogy The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. Even on sale, they’re still $16 more expensive in store than from the UK, including delivery.

That is the dilemma for one of Australia’s biggest book sellers. Dymocks is considering moving its online business offshore because it says it cannot compete with cheap, online sales.

Dymocks chief executive Don Grover says overseas retailers have an unfair advantage because they do not pay GST.

“Dymocks has been in the business for 130 years, and we’re actually now having to make a decision about whether or not to move our online business offshore,” he told the ABC.”

It would actually make more sense for us to send books from an overseas location back into Australia and avoid the GST. To give a competitive advantage to overseas web sites of 10 per cent is just unsustainable.”

Don Grover says his company is already trimming its margins, and the success of cheap, international web sites is making it hard to compete.

via Book battle: Dymocks considers offshore option – ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation.