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Big W Moves Into eBooks

By Computer Daily News | Sunday | 29/09/2013

Discount retailer Big W is taking on global competitors with its latest inroads into the electronic bookstore business. Big W is aiming to beat the likes of Amazon, Kobo and iTunes with its own online offering that focuses on Australian content - and to increase its sales of e-book readers and tablets.


However prices seem hefty, running to as much as $14.99 for Australian author Tim Winton's The Turning; $17.99 for A.B. Facey's 1981 classic memoir A Fortunate Life; and an eyebrow-raising $24.19 for US author Linda Lael Miller's Big Sky Wedding.

Scott White, Big W's head of books, claimed the company's e-book Web site - e-books.bigw.com.au - has been designed specifically for Australian customers. At this stage it appears to be mainly offering books from three major publishing houses: Penguin Random House, Allen & Unwin and Pan MacMillan.

"The e-books market in Australia is dominated by overseas-based companies focused on overseas customers," says White. "Big W e-books is different - we are an Australian retailer with a focus on the books Australians love, with downloads at Australia's lowest prices .

"Our research also showed 58 percent of customers welcome the option of low-cost or free downloads, so at Big W we will have a constantly changing selection of e-books for as little as 99c, with several hundred titles available free of charge."

Australian authors available, as well as Tim Winton, include Blanche d'Alpuget (The Young LIon); Kerry-Anne Walsh (Stalking of Julia Gillard); Murray Bail and Richard Flanagan.

Women are said to be the most avid e-readers with 43 percent downloading more than 10 e-books over the last 12 months, compared to 33 percent of men.

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