As a fellow book lover I’m sure you agree how important it is for us to be supporting independent bookstores online at a time when local shops and businesses are closing.
As much as we groan about Amazon, I think we have the tendency to fall back on them for a number of reasons. BUT I have awesome news to share with you today.
Bookshop.org is a new online platform with the mission to offer socially conscious online shoppers an alternative to Amazon by financially supporting independent bookshops. How great is that!
Independent bookstores have been given a powerful new tool to allow their loyal customers to support them by buying through Bookshop.org when they shop for books online.
With varying lockdown measures currently being enforced across the UK, including complete bookstore closures in Ireland and Wales, many independent bookshops are now facing a very uncertain sales period in the all-important run-up to Christmas after an already challenging year.
Bookshop was founded with the belief that independent bookshops are vital to our culture. As consumers are increasingly realising that where they spend their money matters, Bookshop.org offers an entirely new approach to online shopping, giving customers the power to support the local high street when they buy books online.
Bookshop.org offers an ethical online marketplace that ensures independent bookshops receive the full profit margin (30 per cent of the cover price) from each sale they generate on the platform. Books are offered to consumers at a small discount and delivered within 2-3 days.
Bringing a human touch to online shopping, the Bookshop.org browsing experience mirrors the joy of discovering a new book in a physical bookshop.
How? Bookshop is able to do this because it is curated by real book experts – booksellers, authors, publishers and influencers – as opposed to an algorithm, helping book lovers like you and me to discover books and authors beyond bestseller lists.
You can explore each independent bookshop’s ‘store-front’ style page, browsing virtual tables of recommended books as you would instore.
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Bookshop.org founder and CEO, Andy Hunter, said: “Bookshops are essential to a healthy culture, and online sales are vital to safeguarding their future. We can’t afford to lose them. COVID-19 has added further urgency to the need for bookshops to compete for online sales. Bookshop.org’s mission is to empower customers in supporting local, brick and mortar bookstores, providing book buyers with an easy way to shop online while continuing to support their local high street.”
Nicole Vanderbilt, UK Managing Director at Bookshop.org, and formerly International VP at Etsy, added: “At a time when Amazon has enjoyed even greater advantage over high street competitors as a result of the pandemic, Bookshop.org offers a socially conscious alternative to customers wishing to shop online, while supporting bookshops in competing in an ecommerce environment. We’re delighted to be launching in the UK and look forward to working with bookshops, publishers, authors, and beyond across the UK, while offering customers an entirely new online shopping experience.”
Alexandra Shulman, ex-Vogue editor and author commented “I love my favourite independent bookshops because it’s often easier to discover new authors as you don’t feel so overwhelmed by the choice in some chain stores. They are lovely to browse in.”
Publishers in the UK, particularly having observed the impact of Bookshop.org in the US, are similarly heartened by the arrival of Bookshop.org in the UK – Atlantic Books, Faber, Picador, Jacaranda, Fitzcarraldo Editions and Andersen Press and more have already signed up to the site.
Philip Gwyn Jones, Publisher at Picador, said: “Like every publisher of long standing, I tend to be an incorrigible – some would say deluded – optimist, but nonetheless I am finding it impossible not to see the arrival of Bookshop as being a positively revolutionary moment in the history of bookselling in the UK, and in the evolution of the relationship between writers and readers.”
Stephen Page, Chief Executive at Faber, said: “The arrival of Bookshop.org solves a missing piece of our rich ecology of bookselling in the UK, with the establishment of a brilliant online partner for our thriving independent bookselling community.”
Will Atkinson, MD and Publisher at Atlantic Books, said: “Bookshop.org has proven a successful formula and I am delighted they have arrived in this country. Atlantic will be doing everything we can to support them as they launch and then as partners in the future.”
Bookshop is a B Corporation, created with the mission to benefit the public good by contributing to the welfare of the independent literary community. It is written into Bookshop’s bylaws that it can never be sold to a major US retailer, including Amazon.
Join the revolution by supporting independent bookstores online.