Moon Lane Children’s Books & Toys in Ramsgate is one of 130 UK bookshops to have signed up to Bookshop (www.Bookshop.org): a new online platform launched yesterday (November 2) to help bookshops take on Amazon in the critical Christmas shopping season, and beyond.
Independent bookshops, facing an existential threat due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been given a powerful new tool to allow their loyal customers to support them by buying through Bookshop.org when they shop for books online.
With varying lockdown measures being enforced across the UK many independent bookshops are facing a very uncertain sales period in the all-important run-up to Christmas after an already challenging year.
Bookshop.org offers customers the power to support the local high street when they buy books online with independent bookshops receiving 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 130 British bookshops already signed up from all corners of the UK since the site opened to them just over two weeks ago, the launch of Bookshop has been welcomed by independent booksellers and publishers, with industry members describing it as “[a] revolutionary moment in the history of bookselling in the UK.”
Bookshop.org first launched in the USA in January and has already raised over $7.5m for independent bookshops in the States. The UK launch was brought forward 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.
Bookshop is curated by real book experts – including booksellers, authors, publishers and influencers – as opposed to an algorithm – and customers can explore each independent bookshop’s ‘store-front’ style page, browsing virtual tables of recommended books as they would instore.
Tamara Macfarlane, Moon Lane founder and co-owner, said: “Moon Lane teams delighted by the opportunities Bookshop.org will bring to the UK, allowing us to share our expert knowledge with customers further across the country and beyond.
“With online shopping becoming an increasing necessity for many, the possibility of offering expertly curated recommendations by our knowledgeable booksellers through Bookshop.org could not have come at a better time.
“Long known for its passion for raising equality in children’s books, Moon Lane draws together expert knowledge from all areas of children’s books, with a particular focus on promoting ranges that celebrate everyone in our society.”
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.”
I was hoping to see something that would also help independent writers/self-publishers like myself. Would be great to have other outlets beside Amazon.