By Emily Williams
MADRID: Online bookselling in Spain is still a nascent business, with less than robust offerings from the large bricks and mortar stores Casa del Libro, FNAC and Corte Ingles, but things are finally starting to change. Yesterday marked the announcement of Abalúlibros, a new online book portal that will launch in Spain in October.
Ten book industry veterans (pictured above, at right) including specialized, general and online publishers and booksellers, are setting up a virtual bookstore that will handle sales for print, e-books and POD. They promise more interaction with readers and rich metadata (a feature they’ve noticed is seriously deficient in other Spanish online bookstores) culled from the databases of the ten participating booksellers, which together boast 5 million euros in sales.
Abalúlibros will have 400,000 titles at launch (meaning they are presumably working with soon-to-be-unveiled digital distributor Libranda, though nothing has been specified yet). As they explain on their website:
We wanted to put our lifetime of knowledge as booksellers together with the extensive experience some of our members have with online bookselling (since 1996) and create the online bookstore that is lacking in Spain: one where you can find any book along with all the information available about the work and the author, one that keeps you updated on when your order will be delivered, one that will let you know if the book is out of stock before confirming your order . . . a big general bookstore where we as booksellers would like to shop,” explains Jesús Pinto, the spokesman for Abalúlibros and manager of publishing house Editorial Reus.
David Fernández of Librería Cyberdark adds, “We would always look at the Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites and wonder why there was nothing like that in Spain. Eventually we stopped wondering and decided to make it ourselves.”
VISIT: The website for Abalúlibros
DISCUSS: Where else is Amazon missing out?