Reading consumers have mourned the loss of bookstores, big and small, for quite some time. The obvious scapegoat is the advance on not just online retailers, who have shouldered much of the blame for providing print books at a chain-store discounted price along with free, fast shipping. But with the advent of digital reading, many smaller independently-owned bookstores closed their doors when they found that they just could not keep up.
The American Booksellers Association has been working for some time to bring customers’ spending focus back on the smaller indie bookstores. They began working over a year ago with Google e-books to have indie bookstores sell those titles in-store digitally and there are even talks of the future development of a dedicated e-reader device.
Now, the ABA has developed an app with Bluefire Productions that puts your favorite indie bookstore on your smartphone or device and allows you to purchase digital content through the app. This app essentially gives every independent bookstore the opportunity to provide cloud-based book shopping and e-reading at the users’ fingertips, while not having to develop and maintain their own apps and shopping carts. The ebooks come from Google e-books, the app was developed by the ABA, but the reader can still support his favorite local independent bookstore.
“With the release of IndieBound Reader, independent bookstores are taking another major step forward as players on the digital stage,” said ABA technology director Matt Supko in a prepared statement published in Publisher’s Weekly. “The IndieBound Reader app gives independent bookstores a home on the most popular mobile devices, making it easier than ever for customers to shop local when they shop digital.”
The app is currently only available for Android devices, but plans are underway for an iOS compatible app to be available in the near future.