SINGAPORE - Major Malaysian book fair The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale will be coming to Singapore for the first time, albeit virtually.
The flash sale, which carries more than 40,000 titles and 20 million new books, including fiction, non-fiction and children's books, at discounts of up to 90 per cent, will run from Oct 15 to 18.
Founders and married couple Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng said at a Zoom press conference on Thursday (Oct 8) that they had always wanted to bring the sale to Singapore, but only got round to it this year because of high logistics costs.
Because of their mission to make books affordable for all, they also prioritised moving into countries with lower access to books, like Myanmar or Cambodia.
Mr Yap, 43, said: "Because of the pandemic, we pivoted to become an e-commerce company, and one of the first countries we thought of was Singapore."
Big Bad Wolf began as a warehouse sale in Kuala Lumpur in 2009. It has since expanded to 10 other countries and territories, including Indonesia, South Korea and Dubai, and held 33 events last year.
Big Bad Wolf previously held online sales in Thailand and Sri Lanka. Mr Yap said there were teething problems with website infrastructure. "It's like building a car that you have no time to test drive, because it's a flash sale and we have to fix it as we go along.
"There were many challenges, but none of them detrimental."
Besides huge discounts, the sale also offers a flat shipping rate of $4.90. Delivery is free for orders of $99 and above.
Mr Yap and Ms Ng, who are Malaysian and Singaporean respectively, also founded the BookXcess bookstore chain in Malaysia, known for the towering walls of books at its Penang and Johor branches.
Mr Yap hinted that they were in talks with bank OCBC, their partner for the upcoming sale, to start a Singapore outlet.
"The bookselling business has totally changed," he said. "You see standalone bookstores downsizing or closing. We need help - we can't do it alone. The Big Bad Wolf sale here will be a good gauge of the Singapore market. We are preparing ourselves to be in Singapore - we're not sure when, but we will be."
For more details, go to this website.