The good news? Publishing giant Pearson has purchased the online operations of RedGroup Australia (collapsed owners of Borders and Angus & Robertson), which means that Kobo e-book owners can be assured their readers will continue to work and they’ll get new local titles. The perhaps less good news? Amazon has purchased discount online book vendor The Book Depository, which might make it a less attractive destination for bargain book buying.
Back in February when RedGroup went into administration, Kobo itself assured local readers that books purchased on the Kobo would remain accessible. According to its press announcement, Pearson will continue to operate the Angus & Robertson and Borders online stores, which should also mean a new supply of e-books for Kobo owners (and a potential source of discounted print titles as well).
It will probably take longer to work out the potential impact of the Book Depository buyout. As we’ve pointed out before, the site’s claim to not charge postage is a tad deceptive, since it adjusts the price for books based on where it thinks you are ordering from. Amazon might seem unlikely to maintain that approach at first glance. However, its UK operation has been offering free shipping to Australia for books if you spend more than 25 pounds, and access to Amazon distribution could make it cheaper for Book Depository to ship worldwide.
What’s your reaction to these changes in the book world? Share your thoughts in the comments.