An independent bookseller’s plans to launch a new international online rival to Amazon, Bookman & Black, have been cancelled.
David Headley, founder of Goldsboro Books in London’s Cecil Court, told The Bookseller he was “hugely disappointed” about the development, which followed some “unexpected setbacks” with the website which have resulted in the project under the Bookman & Black name being abandoned. Headley declined to say more about the cancellation of the venture, which was due to launch in October, for legal reasons.
Subscribers to the Bookman & Black website in its beta form only received a newsletter last month explaining it would be launching soon with an inventory of over 250,000 books, adding that the company was “working closely with authors, publishers and fellow book lovers to create a range of exciting and exclusive content”.
The firm was a joint venture with web developer Lee Wilson, m.d of Project X Development.
Headley, who also run D H H Literary Agency, said he maintains his belief that online bookselling needs to be reimagined.
“It is, of course, hugely disappointing that we are not going to launch,” Headley said. “I continue to be a firm believer that online bookselling needs a new approach. The support from the literary community in setting the company up, from well-known authors and major publishing houses, has been overwhelming and encouraging and I am grateful for their support.”
He added: “I would also like to thank Lee for his vision and passion.”
Headley’s plans to launch an international online bookseller were first revealed in October last year, with “significant investment” from the bookseller and Wilson.
Its aim was to aspire to replicate the experience of an independent bookshop online, with Headley saying at the time: “At Bookman & Black we believe it’s time for a change in the field of online bookselling. We will be looking to work with publishers and authors to provide readers with an alternative online shopping experience, with all the joy and magic of browsing a physical bookshop, offering the knowledge and expertise of the professional bookseller.”
The Bookseller understands that Headley, a passionate bookseller, will continue his entrepreneurial activity in the retail field.