During the pandemic, numerous companies closed. Very few people succeeded in doing so. You may already be aware of Peloton and Zoom, but you can also add Bookshop.org to that list. This website was established in January 2020 with the intention of assisting independent booksellers in becoming e-commerce competitors. This examination of the business and its founder successfully captures the essence of that elusive subspecies known as a “feel-good business narrative.”
The bookstores who had chosen to participate in Bookshop’s earnings pool received equal portions of the 10% of sales that the bookshop deposited into their accounts every six months. After checking their finances, some business owners were taken by surprise. An air conditioner malfunction that resulted in a nasty mold outbreak in VaLinda Miller’s bookshop, Turning Page Bookstore, in the suburbs of Charleston, South Carolina, put her in danger. She was aware that she would have to relocate but was unable to pay the movers’ fees, a new landlord’s rent for a few months, or replacement costs for any damaged goods. When she finally thought to check her Bookstore account, she was shocked to discover that Turning Page had more than $19,000—enough to pay for the move.
Many independent bookshops lack the resources necessary to maintain their own internet businesses, which is a challenge for them. Their non-Amazon budgets place a cap on their inventory and delivery capacity. However, they don’t always want to engage in e-commerce; instead, they like the romance of stocked shelves, cozy reading dens, and well-chosen staff choices. Even if it could be essential, eliminating those experiences seems contrary to the goal.
Imagine you are the proprietor of a tiny bookstore. On Bookshop’s website, you can create a digital storefront in a matter of minutes, list the books you wish to sell, and, if you so choose, create collections of works that correspond to your business’s philosophies. The wholesaler Ingram collaborates with Bookshop to fulfill orders, so you are relieved of the responsibility for inventory and delivery. This means that you are not required to actually stock any of the books yourself. Any book sold through your storefront will give you a 30 percent cut of the cover price. Whether you’re a blogger, author, influencer, or other bookish kind, you can join Bookstore as an individual, even if you don’t have a physical storefront, and you get to keep 10% off everything you make.
Local bookstore support is a priority for bookshop.org. Your favourite bookstore can be located on their map, and you can order your next favourite book (or books) from their Bookshop.org website. Your order is fulfilled by their distributor, who ships it in as little as 2-3 days from US warehouses to your door. Bookshop.org takes care of returns and customer support concerns so booksellers can spend more time talking to you about books, which is what they love to do. Then, your preferred neighbourhood bookshop retains 30% of the retail price of your purchase. Your contributions matter and aid them in continuing to play an important role in your neighbourhood.
Amazon’s rise has been largely attributed to affiliate links. For publishers, magazines, organizations, and influencers, Bookshop.org’s affiliate program pays more than twice as much as Amazon Associates, and they match every affiliate payment with a dollar-for-dollar contribution to our bookseller profit-sharing pool, which has helped bookstores make more than $6 million.