[LINK] Hey bookshop.org .. what about Australia?
StephenLoosley at outlook.com
Tue Nov 3 12:18:10 AEDT 2020
“This is revolutionary’: new online bookshop unites indies to rival Amazon”
Bookshop.org, which launched in the US earlier this year, has accelerated UK plans and goes online this week in partnership with more than 130 shops
By Alison Flood Mon 2 Nov 2020 11.01 AEDT https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/nov/02/this-is-revolutionary-new-online-bookshop-unites-indies-to-rival-amazon
It is being described as a “revolutionary moment in the history of bookselling”: a socially conscious alternative to Amazon that allows readers to buy books online while supporting their local independent bookseller. And after a hugely successful launch in the US, it is open in the UK from today.
Bookshop was dreamed up by the writer and co-founder of Literary Hub, Andy Hunter. It allows independent bookshops to create their own virtual shopfront on the site, with the stores receiving the full profit margin – 30% of the cover price – from each sale.
All customer service and shipping are handled by Bookshop and its distributor partners, with titles offered at a small discount and delivered within two to three days.
“It’s been a wild ride,” said Hunter, who launched the site in the US in January. “Five weeks into what we thought was going to be a six-month period of refining and improving and making small changes, Covid-19 hit and then suddenly we were doing massive business.”
Initially starting with 250 bookshops, more than 900 stores have now signed up in the US.
“We went from selling $50,000 (£38,000) worth of books in all of February, to selling $50,000 a day in March, then $150,000 a day in April,” said Hunter. By June, Bookshop sold $1m worth of books in a day. The platform has now raised more than $7.5m (£5.7m) for independent bookshops across the US.
“We were four employees plus me, working at home, getting up as early as we could and going to bed as late as we could, trying to make it all work. It was a real white-knuckle ride,” said Hunter. “But it was extremely gratifying because the whole time we were getting messages from stores saying, ‘Thank God you came along, you’ve paid our rent, you’ve paid our health insurance this year.’ If you’re going to have to work in insane circumstances and with huge amounts of stress, it’s good to be doing it in something you feel good about.”
Bookshop is a B Corporation (https://bcorporation.uk/about-b-corps) created with the mission “to benefit the public good by contributing to the welfare of the independent literary community”. Rules state that it can never be sold to a major US retailer, including Amazon.
Hunter believes the reason for Bookshop’s quick success is readers’ fondness for their local booksellers.
“Bookstores have been in trouble for a while because of Amazon’s growth, but this pandemic has really accelerated it. Amazon has gotten much more powerful, while there are 100-year-old stores that are hanging on for survival,” he said. “I think we were so successful because enough people were conscious of that, and wanted to rally their beloved bookstores, because they care about the world that we emerge from this pandemic into.”
Hunter had been planning to launch Bookshop in the UK in 2021 or 2022. But after seeing the success of the platform in the US, shops, publishers and authors in the UK asked him to step up the timeline. Bookshop.org launches in the UK on Monday, with more than 130 British bookshops already signed up..
Bookshop.org HELP page ..
Solution Home General FAQ FAQ
Do you ship to Canada or internationally?
Modified on: Wed, 30 Sep, 2020 at 12:38 PM
No, we currently are US only. We do hope to help support bookstores over the world in the future.
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