Bookpages aims to be UK's Amazon.com

UK Internet book seller Bookpages is aiming to become this country's answer to Amazon.com with a string of initiatives kicking off this week with a loyalty points scheme.

UK Internet book seller Bookpages is aiming to become this country's answer to Amazon.com with a string of initiatives kicking off this week with a loyalty points scheme.

"Tesco was number two in UK supermarkets and became the number one through smart initiatives," said Simon Murdoch, managing director. "We're trying to do the same." Bookpages is currently the UK's number two Net book seller after the Internet Book Shop.

Bookpages is registering 28 per cent growth per month and is on target to make £600,000 for this year in revenues, putting it way ahead of High Street bookstores such as Dillons and Waterstones which are only now tapping the Web for sales. Murdoch claimed that Bookpages receives about 2,000 visitors per day.

Many buyers are "technical people, a lot of academics", said Murdoch. Fiction and science fiction are the most popular categories. Interestingly, sales are split in even numbers between the UK, the US and Rest of World, quashing the advantage of UK bookseller brand names to a certain extent.

Bookpages claims to offer every one of the 900,000 UK book titles currently in print and plans to push ahead with heavy promotional activities - £300,000 in the next three months - to make it the UK's number one. "Our objective is to be the equivalent of Amazon in the UK," Murdoch said.

Schemes already in place include free delivery, a unique search engine and discounts on some titles.

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