Benefits For Booksellers

Bookshop was created by Andy Hunter, who has a background in independent publishing (Soft Skull Press) and is co-founder of literary websites Literary Hub and Crime Reads. He hopes that it will divert online buying away from Amazon and into local bookstores.

Each independent that joins Bookshop gets its own virtual storefront page and can showcase recommendation lists that are curated by booksellers rather than algorithms. Customers find these pages and curated lists through unique affiliate links that booksellers can share on social media or through their website or newsletter.

Membership Benefits

Bookshop is an income-share model for independent stores. Customers can redeem gift cards from their own store’s affiliate links on the site and will see that the store they chose to support receives credit for their purchase.

Due to worldwide paper supply issues, the availability dates of future member books are subject to change. Click the book titles below to learn more about each book and to see when full text becomes available online.

Members planning to open a bookstore can apply for a provisional membership and are eligible for one year of 30% Bookshop affiliate rates.

Access to Publishers

Bookshop is a platform for all book lovers: publishers, media outlets, writers, passionate readers and bookstores. The website offers a virtual storefront that is similar to Amazon’s, where booksellers promote titles in their stores and earn commissions on every sale. Those sales go into a shared profit pool that Bookshop shares with the participating stores.

The platform also allows bookstores to showcase curated lists or recommended titles for their customers to explore. These unique affiliate links can be shared on social media posts and profiles, in newsletters or through a Linktree page. The resulting customer data is scrubbed and de-identified.

Founder Andy Hunter has deep roots in publishing, with experience at Soft Skull Press, Counterpoint, and Catapult. He has also co-founded literary websites Electric Literature and Crime Reads. His goal in establishing Bookshop was to help independent bookstores combat the rise of Amazon. He has since expanded his reach, bringing on publishers to partner with Bookshop, and launching a community for booksellers to exchange ideas.

Access to Buyers

Bookshop allows bookstores to create unique affiliate links that direct customers to a single Storefront Page and curated lists (staff picks, etc) and earn the store 30% profit margin on all sales. The website also promotes local stores based on the customer’s delivery location and, if the buyer opts-in, sends them an email to follow up on future purchases.

The platform has raised over $7.5 million for independent bookstores since it opened in the US in February and recently launched in the UK. It’s been credited with keeping bookstores open during the COVID-19 lockdown. It has even been used to sell books from a library. The Guardian describes the site as a “revolutionary moment.” (Photo credit: Booklovers’ clubs on social media are another way to buy and swap books.

Access to Resources

Bookshop also offers several tools for affiliates to promote their books on the site. You can create a list of your own titles, add the ISBNs and generate a widget to embed in your website. You can also copy the “buy” link for any book on any page of the site, including your own.

This is one of the most important aspects of the service — it’s a way to direct people who would normally buy through Amazon away from them, helping independent bookstores get a piece of the online pie. It’s particularly relevant as Amazon is getting more and more attention for paying very little tax, working conditions that are less than ideal and selling items – including books – at a loss. Bookshop is a great alternative. As a bonus, the site will give you 10% of the sale of any of your books sold through it. (See the FAQs for more details.)