Tuesday, October 10, 2006

ABE hits milestone

ABE announced at last week's Frankfurt Bookfair that its online inventory hit the 100 million mark last month. "The world’s largest selection of books for sale now exceeds 100 million. When A Checklist of the Vertebrate Animals of Kansas by George D. Potts and Thomas T. Collins was uploaded on to AbeBooks.com on 21 September, it marked the first time the website’s inventory had ever reached the landmark figure of 100,000,000 books."

The bookseller who helped ABE reach this momentous number is Gene's Books of Stafford, Kansas. (Does anyone else wonder if Gene was awarded anything other than free publicity? Like maybe a free month???) Thank you, Gene, for serendipitously listing a great title instead of a schlocky novel for that milestone!

In the same press release ABE announced it will be integrating its Spanish language booksite, Iberlibro.com - finally- with ABE's database at the end of this year which will add over 2 million more books to its inventory. (I always found it very peculiar that a Spanish booksite was not included in ABE previously when German and French sites were already included.) ABE will also launch a stand-alone Italian website, www.abebooks.it, in 2007, adding to the ABE's international element of online bookselling. Currently the Italian booksite is part of ABE's UK website. Yes, the 2 newest additions are not totally inclusive of worldwide languages, but any additions also need to be viable financially. Time will tell if any other international sites will be added or integrated.

2006 has been a big 10th anniversary year full of changes for ABEbooks.com, which was founded in June 1996. A new corporate logo was developed. In May, the announcement was made that ABE acquired LibraryThing, the online service to help people catalog their books easily. In late February of this year, ABE announced its acquisition of Fillz, a bookseller service. In early February, John Chase was announced as the new CFO, bringing much industry experience with him.

While ABE is busily growing, its booksellers are still grousing about the same old things thus proving the old adage "The more things change, the more they stay the same." The latest and loudest gripe has to do with the current work
ABE is doing on its search engine, and whether the real issues - as booksellers see it - are being addressed. Big congratulations go to ABE anyway!

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