Bookshop.org was launched in the UK just in time to support independent bookstores just as the second round of lockdown restrictions are starting to kick in.
The premise of Bookshop.org is that Amazon sucks up a ton of book sales and independent bookstores are having enough trouble making a profit at the best of times. With the pandemic they will all be forced to close their doors and therefore the UK launch (Bookshop.org has already been live in the US since the start of the year) has been brought forward to help them as they go. need it most.
Bookstores that sign up get their own Bookshop.org microsite and can earn a 30% commission on all sales. By creating their own curated playlists, they can attract customers the same way they do in their physical stores. The big difference is that they don’t have an upfront investment and UK distributor partner Gardners, a UK book wholesaler, takes care of customer service and shipping. Consumers get a small discount and receive their book purchases within days and the bookstore that generated the sale gets their commission.
Bookshop.org wants to support all independent bookstores, so 10% of sales on the site that are made by affiliates that are not bookstores go into a fundraiser to distribute to independent bookstores, whether they are listed on the site or not. not. Non-bookseller affiliates also earn 10% of the suggested retail price as a commission.
It’s a really smart idea, not quite a marketplace, Bookshop.org is more like a collection on online stores where each bookstore can create their own unique identity. For example, Bookends is an independent, family-run bookstore located in a beautiful 5-story Georgian building shared with the second-hand Bookcase bookstore and vintage Cakes & Ale cafe and garden in the historic border town of Carlisle. Their playlists include Cumbrian Crime, Cumbrian Highlights 2020, Unicorn Overload! and Books for Crazy Cat Ladies.
Are you a bookstore?
If you are an independent bookstore, we encourage you to check out Bookshop.org and register in time to maximize sales as Christmas approaches.
Are you buying a book?
If you are thinking of purchasing books, either for reading on your own or as Christmas gifts, consider making your purchase at Bookshop.org to support independent bookstores. You can also search for your local favorite bookstore during foreclosure and buy specifically from them knowing that they will receive the commission on your purchases.
“Bookstores are essential to a healthy culture, and online sales are vital to their future. We cannot afford to lose them. Covid-19 has added further urgency to the need for bookstores to compete for online sales. Bookshop.org’s mission is to empower customers to support local brick and mortar bookstores, providing book buyers with an easy way to shop online while continuing to support their local main street.
– Andy Hunter, Founder and CEO, Bookshop.org