Bookshop (company)

Bookshop.org
IndustryE-commerce
FounderAndy Hunter
Websitebookshop.org

Bookshop.org is an online book marketplace launched in January 2020. Its stated mission is "to financially support local, independent bookstores."[1]

Bookshop, Inc., a privately held company, has been certified as a B Corporation.

History

Bookshop.org was founded by publisher Andy Hunter, who had previously co-founded Literary Hub and Electric Literature. It is a collaboration between Hunter and the American Booksellers Association.

On November 2, 2020 Bookshop.org opened a branch in the United Kingdom in partnership with wholesaler Gardners Books, which runs a similar profit sharing program with independent bookshops in that country.[2]

Model

Bookshop.org, operating on an affiliate marketing model, receives and fulfills orders for independent booksellers through its online storefront and returns a set portion of profits to the bookseller. Bookshop.org lets authors, publishers, and reviewers also sign up as affiliates.[3]

Bookshop.org, conceived as a response to Amazon's industry dominance, has set the goal of claiming 1% of the $3.1 billion in United States book sales handled by Amazon as of late 2019. Its strategy is to offer an online storefront with the accessibility and convenience of Amazon and, by convincing media outlets that review and advertise books to link to Bookshop.org instead, intercept potential Amazon customers.[3]

Controversy

At launch, some independent booksellers and independent publishers expressed concern that Bookshop.org is, rather than benefiting them, a new long-term competitor in the publishing ecosystem.[4]

Since launch, the site has earned over $26 million for local stores and support has grown. In 2023, Bookshop.org has replaced IndieBound as the American Booksellers Association official platform for supporting independent, local bookstores when linking to books online. [5]

It has been estimated that sales through Bookshop.org may be 13–20% less profitable than if customers bought directly from an independent bookstore, but the stores do not have the overhead costs of fulfilling the orders themselves.[6]

References

  1. ^ "About Bookshop.org". bookshop.org. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  2. ^ Flood, Alison (November 2, 2020). "'This is revolutionary': new online bookshop unites indies to rival Amazon". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  3. ^ a b Lyons, Gila (December 11, 2019). "An Indie Alternative to Amazon?". Poets & Writers. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Alter, Alexandra (June 16, 2020). "Bookstores Are Struggling. Is a New E-Commerce Site the Answer?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  5. ^ Nawotka, Ed (February 6, 2023). "Bookshop.org to Take Over Sales for IndieBound.org". Publishers Weekly.
  6. ^ "Why Bookshop.org is not the saviour the book world needs". www.newstatesman.com. Retrieved April 23, 2021.

Further reading

  • Knibbs, Kate (April 11, 2023). "How Bookshop.org Survives—and Thrives—in Amazon's World". Wired Magazine.
  • Bhanoo, Sindya N. (April 24, 2020). "The little book sellers that could: How indie stores managed to take a slice of Amazon business". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  • Chow, Andrew R.; Gutterman, Annabel (April 22, 2020). "Indie Bookstores Are Fighting to Survive the Pandemic. A New Movement May Have the Answer". Time. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  • Italie, Hillel (April 2, 2020). "New online store offers help to indie bookstores shuttered during coronavirus pandemic". Associated Press. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  • Knibbs, Kate (January 30, 2020). "This Startup Wants to Help Indie Booksellers Take on Amazon". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028.
  • "US Independent booksellers rally together via Bookshop.org". Books+Publishing. May 6, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  • Warner, John (January 15, 2020). "Bookshop.org hopes to play Rebel Alliance to Amazon's Empire". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 29, 2020.

External links

  • Official website
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