BookWorld Services Announces Launch of Its Ebooks Service

Posted on July 7, 1999

BookWorld Services, Inc., one of the four largest American distributors for publishers, has announced the launching of its e-books service with an estimated 500 titles. Many of BookWorld's 165 client-publishers are already enrolled in the service.

"That number may be second only to Barnes and Noble, the booksellers, who report they offer 1800 titles at the moment in their e-book service," commented Michael Rhoda, vice president-fulfillment of BookWorld, who is managing the new effort.

"We don't think paper books will vanish," Mr. Rhoda said, "but we think this may be the right answer for many slower-selling older titles which ought to be available, but aren't because of the high costs of keeping them in print."

E-book shoppers will be able to browse BookWorld's on-line catalog for titles available in the electronic format and can order there, or by toll-free telephone. Once payment is made, they can then download the text. Publisher-clients of BookWorld receive the payment, less a commission for the distributor, in the following month.

Mr. Rhoda reports that publisher interest has been very high. All BookWorld's clients received a contract addendum form on June 22, and by the end of the month more than half had responded positively. "And most of the others are asking questions, making preparations, getting ready," Mr. Rhoda added.

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