Asia Bookroom is a leading Asian bookselling
specialist. Asia Bookroom is a bookshop specialising in
new, out of print and antiquarian books of Asian
interest. The family business began as the Weekend
Gallery in the late 1960s, where it operated from a
converted flat. At that time it sold only antique maps
and prints, but after purchasing a library of Chinese
books in the 1970s, and several name changes later, the
company has grown to become a specialised Asian bookshop
with a global market.
Asia Bookroom first started selling books online in
1995, and now makes about 75 per cent of its sales
online, of which about 25 per cent is sold
Bookroom supports its website with tailored email
mailing lists and a physical retail store in Macquarie,
ACT. You can find their website at
I’m Sally Burdon. We run Asia Bookroom, which is a
physical bookshop here in Canberra, but because of the
internet we’re anywhere in the world, simultaneously, 24
hours a day, even though thankfully we’re not open 24
hours a day.
We sell books on Asia, as our name suggests, and we
sell everything from antiquarian, which is the antiques
of books, through to brand new books. Because we are a
specialist business, what we’re offering our customers
is expertise and service, and we’re just using the
internet to do that, and of course we also have an open
shop and we do it here too.
I sort of view the whole internet selling thing as
like having another shop. So if you open a shop or open
any business there are all sorts of costs involved, and
if you want to do without carpet and you want to do
without all these things, well, great if you’re selling
junky stuff, but if you’re trying to do something a bit
better than that, you know, you’re crazy. And it’s the
same with setting yourself up on the internet.
So getting a decent website, getting decent software,
all that sort of thing, I would really suggest people
look around and make the right choices on that, which I
know is easier said than done, but it is possible.
From our analysis the success of Asia Bookroom is due to
some solid business practices, great relationsjips and
an understanding of the web. With such a long history of
specialisation the company has found it's niche. It is
recommended by the federal government and frequently
promotes books through EBay and affiliated web sites
Biblio. It ranks well with the search engines and
has a good range of interesting material. The web site
is a little plain yet functions quite clearly.
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