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CBA Partners with Canada.com for Online Bookselling
Diane Patrick -- 7/27/98
The Canadian Booksellers Association, together with Canada.com, will launch an online bookselling area this fall on the Canada.com website. CBA will be the exclusive fulfillment agent for the book service, which will also feature Canadian bestseller lists, information about author tours and book news.
According to CBA executive director Sheryl McKean, CBA -- which has 1300 members, including campus, independents and superstores -- will give online customers three options: express shipment; purchasing from a local bookstore; or purchasing from a specialty bookstore. Although exact fulfillment arrangements are still in the planning stages, CBA will electronically transmit orders to its bookstore members.

In-stock titles will be shipped the same day from the store; otherwise, they will be shipped from the publisher or a distributor. Member bookstores with Web sites, which are "doing a tremendous overseas business" already, will continue to handle overseas orders. Discounts on titles has not yet been determined, nor has how much a bookseller will make on each transaction.Canada.com was developed and is managed by Canadian newspaper publisher Southam Inc. "The CBA members bring a coast-to-coast presence that matches the distribution of Southam newspapers," said Michael Pilmer, director of Southam New Media.

According to McKean, in the fall Southam will launch a national newspaper that will be a competitor to Globe &Mail -- which itself, in partnership with mega-chain Chapters, is also launching a bookselling website in the fall.

That d sn't matter to McKean. "We are not at all focused on the competition," she said. "We are making sure booksellers are able to remain competitive as the competitive environment changes. It has to do with how business is being done, and if there's a game to be played we're going to play it."
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