Online Bookstore to Benefit Indie Bookstores to Debut in January

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At the fall regional trade shows, which kick off September 13, the American Booksellers Association will be sharing information with members about Bookshop, an online bookstore launching in January 2020 with an explicit mission to help promote and financially support the brick-and-mortar bookselling community.

The creators of Bookshop have worked with ABA, independent booksellers, Ingram, and book and magazine publisher partners to launch a site that will provide websites, authors, indie stores, magazines, and bookstagrammers an easy way to promote and purchase the books they love online without driving sales to Amazon.

Bookshop, a B-Corp business, is targeting online customers who are not currently buying books on indie bookstore sites by creating a national platform that allows socially conscious consumers an alternative that supports their values while offering one-click purchasing; an easy, intuitive interface; and two-day shipping. Bookshop will also guide book buyers with human recommendations and personality, not algorithms.

In addition, Bookshop will have three independent booksellers on its seven-member board: Hannah Oliver Depp of Loyalty Bookstore in Washington, D.C.; Kelly Estep of Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville, Kentucky; and Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books in Florida.

Underscoring Bookshop’s commitment to bookstores everywhere, 10 percent of every sale on Bookshop goes to ABA member bookstores that opt-in as partners. This includes 10 percent of every sale from an author’s Facebook post, an e-mail newsletter, a referral from The New York Review of Books, a link on Literary Hub, or a parent-teacher association in Pensacola. These funds will be divided evenly among participating bookstores nationwide and dispersed by Bookshop every six months.

Bookstores can also use Bookshop links on their websites, in their newsletters, and on social media. Bookshop pays 25 percent of the purchase price of each book to bookstores that use the platform to sell books. There is no labor or participation cost for the store; all fulfillment and customer service will be handled by Bookshop.

Bookshop is not a replacement for IndieCommerce sites or for any store that’s happy with its online sales. Stores that successfully sell books via their websites and use them to manage pre-order campaigns, signed copy promotions, and event ticketing will not be affected by Bookshop.

Bookshop’s founder, Andy Hunter, co-founded Electric Literature, CrimeReads, Book Marks, Literary Hub, and Catapult.

Questions about Bookshop can be directed to Bookshop’s Sarah High or [email protected].