February 2, 2005, 12:00 AM

Why 2004 was a real page turner for Abebooks.com

Key acquisitions such as its October purchase of Iberlibro.com, an online platform for used and antiquarian books in the global Spanish-speaking community, is helping Abebooks.com grow its global annual sales to more than $130 million.

 

Key acquisitions such as its October purchase of Iberlibro.com, an online platform for used and antiquarian books in the global Spanish-speaking community, is helping Abebooks.com grow its global sales base.

In 2004, Abebooks recorded total web sales of $130 million, a 30% increase over 2003, says CEO Hannes Blum. Today, Abebooks has an interactive marketing presence in several key overseas book markets, including North America, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

But the online seller of rare and other books sees acquisitions as a key strategy to grow both its sales and market share. For instance, Iberlibro.com accelerates Abebooks’ growth in the Spanish book market by increasing the online retailer’s current inventory of books in Spanish to more than 3 million. Iberlibro also has a network of 296 booksellers in 15 Spanish-speaking countries.

“Iberlibro has a very broad selection of Spanish-language books from a large group of experienced and specialized booksellers," says Blum.

Blum says Abebooks, which helps independent book publishers, bookstore owners and others market and sell their text, rare and out-of-print books on the Internet, says a big emphasis in 2005 will be building up the web retailer’s brand.

“We will be doing more search engine marketing, sponsoring book fairs and print advertising to extend the brand,” he says.

Abebooks, a private company based in Victoria, BC, has more than 60 million titles listed from more than 12,500 book-seller members on its various e-commerce sites. Monthly subscription rates for book sellers range from $25 to $300, depending on the number of books listed.

 

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