Once they became comfortable that ebooks were not going to be the next big thing - the Internet opened a huge market. Now it is up to these smaller independant book stores to bring their shops online.
While services like Amazon.com, Half.com, eBay.com etc all sell books quite effectively for smaller book stores - they are now turning towards open source shopping cart solutions in order to go "direct to the customer". As recently posted on http://www.booksellingonlineblog.com/ there are many advantages to using an open source shopping cart solution.
Aside from the obvious (selling directly to the consumer without the commission to the bigger online operators), these shopping carts also provide an excellent central resource to manage inventory, fulfillment, revenue tracking and customer data. And this can be done even for sales a dealer generates from one of the bigger services."