Mixed News For Book Lovers With Book Depository And Kobo Deals

Mixed News For Book Lovers With Book Depository And Kobo Deals

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.


  • No doubt that the BookDepository being purchased by Amazon will lead to less competition however if you use a service like bookoffers.com.au – it searches a stack of booksellers and returns all the prices in order of price including delivery.

    You can then see for yourself which is cheaper and buy from them direct.

  • booko.com.au is good as well, even though the book depository comes up #1 almost every time. I guess that might be about to change.

    BetterWorldBooks.com is usually pretty cheap as well, and you get the warm fuzzy feeling of donating to charity.

  • What I dont understand is why a publisher can charge the same amount for an ebook to that if a hard copy? Shouldn’t the printing, handling and shipping of a hard copy make soft copies cheaper (and therefore) more attractive.

  • While Book Depository may factor the “free shipping” into their prices, the prices are still always lower than anywhere else. So they still get my business!

  • Am gutted about this. Amazon is extortionate in its mailing charges and its book prices aren’t anything special either. The Book Depository has been brilliant. I use Booko too to locate the cheapest deal. Clean, simple and fast, without tricks. It’s a truism that the majority of service providers think they can get away with overcharging, bad interfaces and mild dishonesty, but customers know. And now they have the tools to circumvent them.

  • WTH?!! Does that mean.. no more free delivery?? I buy my books from Book Depository is because of the free delivery and getting the book fast instead of via the local bookstore.. =(

  • Book Depository isn’t just good because it is cheap, it is good because — unlike Amazon — it doesn’t tell me I can’t have a book because I live in Australia.

    I understand this is the fault of the government for not implementing the productivity commission’s proposals, but I just want my book!

  • I am sad to hear the above news, because I am sure the prices will go up. I stopped buying from Amazon once I discovered Book Depository, they have ALWAYS been cheaper and I have been buying a lot more stuff from them than I used to from Amazon. Amazon didn’t buy up its competitor to provide better service to customers for sure. I guess my book buying days are over :(.

  • Bad news about Book depository. Don’t believe Amazon bought it to undercut themselves.
    Thanks for the info on Booko…tried a few searches and found BetterWorld Books came up trumps every time. I have been using them for years now and coundn’t be happier with price and service.

  • I’m a medical librarian and use Book Depository and Booko extensively so rather disappointed to hear this. BD has been a loss making operation for some time apparently so change was always on the cards. I hope Amazon has the sense at least not to change things at BD too much as I think BD has it all over Amazon in terms of ease of use etc

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