Bookshop.org: How Indie Bookshops Will Survive - Calling All Friends Who Purchase Books!

How much would you love to support indie bookshops? How much would you love to know that, especially in this time of COVID, you are helping Indie bookshops survive until they can reopen so that we’re not just left with one big giant online retailer? How good would it feel if you had a source other than Amazon (it’s great for many reasons) to get your books from? That you’re spreading the wealth?

An aisle in a used book store
Do you remember that smell? That sense of excitement as you walked in?

I know this sounds like a commercial. . . and it is - sort of, but mostly a plea!!!! I want to support this organization so much! I want a world where my children (as older adults) will be able to enter the magical world of a book shop and be swept away by the sheer volume of books, by the knowledge that these book-loving employees have, by the speaker series and book signings, by everything!

And I know many of you want the same so. . .

Start purchasing your books at Bookshop.org! The benefits are endless! Keep reading!!!!!!

- Have a specific local book store you want to support? Find their online page and they get 100% of the proceeds!

- Otherwise, just purchase through whatever link you got there from and the earnings go to a common pool that will be shared amongst all the indie shops participating with Bookshop.org

- By design, Bookshop.org gives away 75% of its profit margin to the indie shops, publishers, authors and others that bring customers to the storefront.

As you all know, I love books – it is one of the top 5 indoor activities in our family, and I am very intentional about our book collection. For many reasons, now during COVID especially, with my mom living with us, we cannot afford to leave home for any reason other than the absolute necessities.

a collage of photographs of Dante and Leila, our children, reading books in all sorts of positions, places, and times
The images are endless - books are an obsession in our family!

Full disclosure: I receive a small commission from the links in the post (at no cost to you) and would appreciate if you’d continuing to access Bookshop.org from this article. I also understand if you have a particular bookshop you’d like to support instead (read below). Also, I'm still building my shop and suggestions - right now, there are a bunch of children's books, and soon. . . I'll be adding my adult favorites too!

Pre-COVID, life was so busy, I could barely find time to go browse a book store (something I used to do for hours pre-children). I’d love exploring the bookstores of every new city I’d find myself in.

And yet, so many of these bookstores have been closing down. Even before COVID. . . need we name the giant online superstore that has anything and everything from toilet paper to containers for modular homes!?!

I want my children to experience that same thrill, excitement, and wonder that I did every time I stepped into a bookstore.

Yet, many a small bookshop was already struggling to survive amidst the growing popularity of online book-shopping. The costs associated with entering the world of online sales against, as Forbes called it – the Goliath – was prohibitive and many small bookshops were already struggling to survive pre-COVID.

With Bookshop.org’s launch in January, 2020, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Two months later, all book stores were shut down and their only lifeline became online sales.

Enter Bookshop.org, which facilitates wholesale distribution through Igram for these indie bookshops. It is really quite simple and I wish I had the brains of this incredible socially responsible entrepreneur, Andy Hunter, and why didn’t anyone think of this sooner. . .

On the consumer end, besides the fact that you know you are contributing to a viable alternative that will keep indie bookstores alive, you really are still getting all the benefits you would get through the other online giant – huge selection, e-books (through its relationship with My Must Reads), and a growing collection of audiobooks. And, paying a nominal shipping fee is worth it for me, knowing that I am supporting these shops.


Quick note: for now, physical books can only be shipped in the U.S. However, for international members of this community, there are plenty of e-books and the audiobook collection is increasing as well!

So, I beg and implore that you shift your mindset on where you will buy books. Bookshop.org isn’t trying to destroy Amazon or anything. In fact, for its mission to be successful, ONLY a 1/500 shift from Amazon (1% of Amazon’s book purchases) is needed. Amazon can continue to be the Goliath – Bookshop.org is just making sure the David’s out there survive too.

I am asking you all, my community of conscious, book-loving humans to make the switch so that both can co-exist. Again, please don’t forget to click the links in this post and, I will be switching all of my book links to Bookshop.org on all other posts as well – I will receive a small commission at no cost to you and you will be contributing to that 1% shift needed to keep indie bookstores alive!

the interior of a bookstore, looking out toward the entrance
Let's help them through these hard times!