For immediate release


( Victoria, BC – 6 June 2006) This month celebrates its 10th anniversary and the remarkable journey from a true Internet start-up in June 1996 to the world’s largest online marketplace for new, used, rare and out-of-print books.

Founded in Victoria, BC, by two couples, Keith and Cathy Waters and Rick and Vivian Pura, was created to simplify the process of buying and selling used and rare books by connecting buyers and booksellers via the Internet.

Today, Abebooks offers over 80 million books – more than any other retailer - from 13,500 independent booksellers in 53 countries. Up to 25,000 books are sold every day with visitors conducting more than three million book searches every 24 hours. The total value of books for sale is around (US) $3.4 billion and the inventory – which includes one million signed books – is unmatched.

Aside from the original .com website, Abebooks also has sites for the UK, France, Germany, Spain and plans to launch an Italian site in the fall. The company, which employs 120 staff, will move to new offices in Victoria later this year after out-growing its current headquarters.

Hannes Blum, CEO and president of, said: “The founders understood the real power of the Internet and had true vision. They realized the Web could make hard-to-find items – such as used or rare books – very easy to find. Abebooks revolutionized the used book business. Today, our mission is to help people find and buy any book from any bookseller anywhere, but used and rare books remain at the core of what we do."

Even the founders have been astounded by the company’s growth. "Someone said if we got to 2,000 booksellers then we’d be laughing," said Cathy Waters, who now owns an antiquarian bookstore called Grafton Books in Victoria. "When we reached 3,000, it seemed like the absolute pinnacle.”

The anniversary is being celebrated with Abebooks’ largest ever marketing campaign. Booksellers are distributing more than two million bookmarks that offer the chance to win an around-the-world trip. Major newspapers and magazines in USA, Canada, UK and Australia are carrying Abebooks’ adverts featuring a series of fake ‘not-books’ that include ‘Whoops. I Was Wrong by GW Bush’ and ‘Making Marriage Work by Henry VIII’.

Further details about the anniversary, the contest and the not-books can be found at


About is the world’s largest online marketplace for books, with over 80 million new, used, rare, and out-of-print titles listed for sale by more than 13,500 independent booksellers from around the world. Abebooks has millions of customers who purchase up to 25,000 books a day from its 5 global websites. A true internet success story, Abebooks has been selling books online since 1996, and is a private company based in Victoria, BC Canada, with offices in Germany, Spain and USA. Internet Retailer magazine ranked Abebooks at No. 67 among North America’s online retailers in June 2006.

Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr.,
Office Ph: (001) 250 412 3238 / e-mail