Whether you’re new to bookselling or a veteran, we offer many benefits to our members. These include commissions on sales that you refer to your own bookshop or other independent booksellers, curated lists and recommendation titles, access to customer data, and more. We’re here to help you succeed! Join the American Booksellers Association today.
Support Local Authors
When Bookshop founder Andy Hunter was approached about launching a new e-commerce platform for independent bookstores, he knew it was important to focus on supporting local authors and their work. He’s a veteran of the industry, with a background in publishing with Soft Skull Press and Counterpoint. He also co-founded a number of literary websites, including Lit Hub, Crime Reads, and Book Marks.
To support local authors, Bookshop offers a unique affiliate program that allows stores to sell books from their own website. This eliminates many of the overhead costs for a store—such as sales taxes, inventory, customer service, and hosting fees—and boosts conversion rates. This helps stores make more money and support their local community. In addition, stores can create book lists and recommendations (such as staff picks) that customers can browse and order directly through Bookshop. In return, stores can earn commissions on each sale that comes through their affiliate link. They can also share their unique affiliate links through social media, a newsletter, or their own Linktree page.
Build Your Audience
Bookshop is a social media and social commerce site that is designed to redirect users away from Amazon to their local bookstore. The site is a collaboration between the American Booksellers Association and the industry wholesaler Ingram, and has grown to include 85% of the nation’s independent bookstores. Founded by Andy Hunter, who co-founded literary sites Electric Literature and Catapult, it is one of the hottest new startups in retail, and has already amassed an impressive list of clients.
The main benefit of Bookshop is that it provides a platform for recommending books by real human authors and booksellers, which is not something you can find anywhere else. For example, there are a plethora of reading lists from various places on the planet: a book club in Hawaii recommending a certain book, Black-owned bookstores in Alaska recommending books to celebrate Juneteenth and even a comic-book store in New York City promoting its latest graphic novel. Moreover, the best part about Bookshop is that its algorithms are designed to provide you with recommendations that are relevant to your interests and needs.
Promote Your Store
Bookshop has a number of benefits for bookstores: It’s free to sign up, and booksellers who link out properly on their Bookshop page are given 30 percent of all revenue from book sales through Bookshop. Additionally, stores that have physical locations are opted into Bookshop’s 10 percent profit-share pool, which is split every six months between stores signed up with Bookshop.
The Bookshop virtual shopfront can also be used as a replacement for the store’s own website, and it can serve as a platform for handselling titles or events through email campaigns created with Edelweiss360, a free tool that allows shops to create targeted email marketing campaigns in minutes. However, while the virtual shopfront can help to increase revenue for a store, it does not replace a physical location or provide the personalized handselling that customers value.
For example, High Five Bookstore in Hawaii uses a Bookshop page for virtual school book fairs that includes custom book lists for customers to browse through. And WORD Bookstore in Alaska, which operates as an indie bookstore and online bookstore, has made Bookshop.org’s messaging as clear as possible on their website, displaying Bookshop’s block next to the blocks for their IndieCommerce site and their store’s own online bookstore.
Bookshop founder Andy Hunter is a veteran publisher who co-founded literary websites like Electric Literature and Literary Hub. He was concerned about the potential damage to book culture if Amazon took over the bookselling industry, so he set out to create a better book selling platform that supports small, independent bookstores.
Bookshop offers an affiliate program that gives booksellers a 25% commission on sales they directly drive to the site, either by customers clicking on links in their store’s website or who select books on recommendation pages that stores can create on the site. In addition, bookstores that opt into Bookshop’s 10 percent profit-share pool receive 10% of the income they earn from non-bookstore affiliate sales. This is a huge deal for independent bookstores, which pay for inventory, overhead, accounting, utilities, supplies and customer service. It also allows them to avoid the hassle and high costs of fulfilling online orders. The best part? It’s free to join!