A new way to shop for books online has just launched in the UK, just in time for Lockdown 2: Hoarding Loo Rolls Again.
Bookshop.org is hoping to compete with Amazon by offering all the books you could ever want but from the over 150 independent bookshops signed up to the site.
And you might be thinking – doesn’t hive.co.uk already do that? Yes, they do, but with only about 3% going to tour nominated bookshop – bookshop.org (which launched in the US in January) aims to give a larger percentage to the shops – about 30% according to the various articles I’ve read.
I had a little play on the site and placed my first order to road test it for you. I haven’t been paid for this, and all books were paid for by me.
It’s super simple to use, although I don’t think you can currently pre-order books (use Waterstones for that) but it does tell you which books are available now and which will have to be ordered for you (backlist).
I ordered three books, some of which are for Christmas so I won’t name them, but two were in stock and one needs to be ordered in.
Shipping is First or Second Class Royal Mail, so not as swift as Amazon but the same as Waterstones or Hive. Which isn’t too bad at all. Plus your money helps keep independent bookshops in business, which this year is even more important.
I’ve set up an affiliate shop so you can buy the books I’ve talked about here on the blog or over social media if you’d like. I’ll earn a tiny commission which will then turn into more books, because that’s what I spend the most money on! I’d really appreciate you lovely people using my link.
Heres some facts and info from the team behind bookshop.org
Bookshop was founded with the belief that independent bookshops are vital to our culture. As consumers are increasingly realising that where they spend their money matters, Bookshop.org offers an entirely new approach to online shopping, giving customers the power to support the local high street when they buy books online.
Bookshop.org offers an ethical online marketplace that ensures independent bookshops receive the full profit margin (30 per cent of the cover price) from each sale they generate on the platform. Books are offered to consumers at a small discount and delivered within 2-3 days.
With over 150 British bookshops already signed up from all corners of the UK since it opened the site to them just over two weeks ago, the launch of Bookshop has been welcomed by independent booksellers and publishers, with the industry members describing it as “[a] revolutionary moment in the history of bookselling in the UK” and “the establishment of a brilliant online partner for our thriving independent bookselling community”.
Bookshop.org first launched in the USA in January and has already raised over $7.5m for independent bookshops in the States. Bookshop.org has brought forward its UK launch in response to the significant impact of the pandemic on independent retailers, which has seen Amazon enjoying an even greater advantage over the high street. Now more than ever, UK Bookshops need support from online sales in the busy pre-Christmas shopping period.
Bookshop.org founder and CEO, Andy Hunter, said: “Bookshops are essential to a healthy culture, and online sales are vital to safeguarding their future. We can’t afford to lose them. COVID-19 has added further urgency to the need for bookshops to compete for online sales. Bookshop.org’s mission is to empower customers in supporting local, brick and mortar bookstores, providing book buyers with an easy way to shop online while continuing to support their local high street.”
Nicole Vanderbilt, UK Managing Director at Bookshop.org, and formerly International VP at Etsy, added: “At a time when Amazon has enjoyed even greater advantage over high street competitors as a result of the pandemic, Bookshop.org offers a socially conscious alternative to customers wishing to shop online, while supporting bookshops in competing in an ecommerce environment. We’re delighted to be launching in the UK and look forward to working with bookshops, publishers, authors, and beyond across the UK, while offering customers an entirely new online shopping experience.”
Thanks to Midas PR for the info above.
Hope to see you on the site supporting our amazing independent bookshops and buying more fantastic reads over the next few months.