That Bookshop feeling…..
Who doesn’t love a cosy independent bookshop – the smell of ink on paper, the promise of new adventures behind each shiny cover, the solid tomes lined up in a kaleidoscope of colourful book spines? There is a moment of calm that can be found when you walk into a bookshop as you let yourself pause for a moment and linger over a book that catches your eye. Bookshops (and libraries) are the guardians and keepers of an important medium through which our world is explained and explored.
Yet bookshops have long been under threat of disappearing as customers turn away from the high street and instead buy from online retailers who can sell books quicker, cheaper and at more convenience.
However, like all good stories hope is not lost and a hero has entered the story in the form of Bookshop.org.
Bookshop.org is an organisation created specifically to help independent bookshops. An organisation which has recognised a problem and decided to just get on and sort the problem out, and they do it in an ethical and clever way. My kind of hero.
How it works (and it is brilliantly simple)
Independent bookshops are able to customise their own page on the Bookshop.org site. They can give it their own personal stamp and populate it with their own recommended reading lists. Anytime a book is sold through that page the bookshop earns 30% commission.
Another huge plus is that they don’t have to worry about managing the online sales and delivery as a UK book wholesaler, Gardners, handles all the customer service and shipping.
Customers can search for local bookshops in their area by postcode, make purchases through that shop’s page and therefore support a local business. Customers receive a small discount and will take delivery of their books within a few days.
Affiliated authors, publishers, magazines and influencers can also earn a 10% commission on sales through their pages with 10% also going into a profit pool for the independent bookshops.
The idea has already been successful in the U.S. and it was launched here in October this year. At the time of writing £172,018 had already been raised in the U.K for local bookshops.