Bookshop is an online book marketplace designed to support independent bookstores.
Bookshop lets authors, publishers, and reviewers sign up as affiliates. When a sale is made through an affiliate link, the referrer receives 10%, the publisher receives 50%, Bookshop receives 5–10%, and a pool of participating independent bookstores receives 10%. When independent bookstores refer a sale, they receive a 25% commission. While these independent retailers would normally make 40–45% of the sale when selling books themselves, Bookshop is designed to serve a wider audience than the shop would on its own, as an alternative to Amazon. The independent retailers stand to make more in commissions: 25%, as opposed to the 4.5% Amazon offers referrers.
The website's strategy is to offer an online storefront on par with the speed and accessibility of Amazon, and to re-target Amazon customers towards independent booksellers by convincing media outlets to link to Bookshop instead. The website is planning features to let customers sign up for their local bookstore's newsletter, and receipts will show local bookstore information based on the customer's address. Bookshop anticipates that independent bookstores with successful online storefronts, such as Powell's, will not participate. The website will avoid competing with these booksellers. Bookshop aims to reclaim 1% of the $3.1 billion in United States book sales handled by Amazon as of late 2019.
Bookshop was founded by publisher Andy Hunter in collaboration with the American Booksellers Association and wholesaler Ingram. Hunter had previously co-founded Literary Hub and Electric Literature. As the rise of online book-buying put many independent booksellers on the brink of collapse, Bookshop was meant as a unified e-commerce response to Amazon's industry dominance. The website had earned $1 million for American bookstores by April 2020.
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