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WRITER: SETH KAPLAN
CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 18, 2000

Sales increase for UI online book store

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Despite competition from large Internet textbook sellers, the University of Iowa Book Store has seen increased sales through its online Web site since last spring and its launch over a year ago.

George Herbert, manager of the University Book Store, says it's hard to tell what impact Web sites such as Bigwords.Com or Varsitybooks.com have had, but online book sales for the university have risen to 575 this fall from roughly 250 last spring.

"We've been very happy because we are trying to offer one more service for the students of the University of Iowa," Herbert says.

The University Book Store started selling books and merchandise on the Internet in August 1999 but Herbert says this is the first year the Web site has been in full use. He says last fall the Web site was just starting up while this year the university helped promote sales through advertising and marketing campaigns during the summer.

First-year students who recently went through summer orientation were given information on how to buy books through the University Book Store's Web site. Also, the Book Store placed new ads in the Iowa Hawkeye football magazine as well as the alumni magazine to attract new users to the site.

The Book Store is also looking to increase sales for the other products it sells online such as class supplies and apparel. The Web site can be accessed at http://www.book.uiowa.edu.