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Booktopia to start printing books

As part of its newly launched book club, Booktopia is set to licence and print its own editions of popular books in order to compete against discount department stores such as Big W and KMart. 

Only book club members will have access to the significant discounts off the new editions, which will be mostly popular mainstream books. The first round of releases will be available in October and November.

“They’re titles that we sell few copies of because most people go to discount chains to pick them up and we sell very few of them,” Booktopia founder Tony Nash explained, adding that he expects the book club to eventually become a large part of the business.

“We [sell] more of an independent bookshop kind of book, but the kind that gets dropped by the pallet-load into discount stores, we can’t discount enough to be part of the market. But by having our edition, it means we can compete somewhat with that and make it work.”

Booktopia added distribution to its business a couple of years ago, which is a growing area of the organisation.

“Rather than being a retailer buying books from publishers and distributors, we’re being appointed as representatives for the publishers, so bookshops and businesses are buying from us and we’re supplying to the market,” Nash told Inside Retail.

“We always talked about doing distribution. Bookshops were already buying from us as a consumer so we wanted to formalise it and give them better B2B discounts. It accelerated when an Australian book distributor went in to administration and we picked up quite a few publishers. The plans are to grow the number of stores buying from us from 300 to 800 and to add as many publishers as we can that match the profile that we are looking for.”

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