Great British Bookshop goes live

Online bookshop The Great British Bookshop has now gone live to customers.

The “online alternative to Amazon” promises to be an e-tailer of books which creates “far more profit for publishers”.

The website is owned by Print on Demand Worldwide (POD-W) and sales representatives have been out in force at conferences lately signing up publishers’ titles to the platform. At the time of its launch, the website had over 230,000 print books and 15,000 e-books listed for sale, with discounts of around 10% off.

The Great British Bookshop has blue, red, white and pink-coloured branding and says it will bring publishers closer to readers in the supply chain by being able to print titles which are ordered on demand. “This eliminates the need for storage, overprinting and unnecessary transportation, leaving far more profit for the publishers,” the company said. It added: “The Great British Book Shop represents the ultimate in lean supply - the consumer effectively comes directly to the manufacturer for both the physical and digital formats.”

Andy Cork, managing director of POD-W, said the website “tilted the balance of power in favour of the publisher and away from the retailer.” He added: “The Great British Bookshop is all about enabling publishers to reach more readers, more quickly and more profitably by cutting out expensive middlemen.”

In November when the website was being trialled, Kathy Allen, senior marketing executive at POD-W, said: "It's really difficult to compete with Amazon, they are a huge force, but for publishers we want to be a viable alternative—it doesn't take a lot of resources to put books with us. With consumers, there is a silent but growing backlash [against Amazon] and we hope to utilise that where possible."