The website’s unique selling point is it’s ethical business model. Bookshop.org works alongside independent bookshops, instead of directing business away from them.
Customers can select a book title on the website, and then choose which local bookshop they would like to support when they checkout. The Manchester bookshops currently partnered with Bookshop.org include Abacus Books, Chorlton Bookshop and The Urmston Book Shop.
Importantly, the website transparently states how the partnership scheme works. Every bookshop they work with ‘will earn a 30% commission on the sales they generate’. The founders also state on the website that they ‘believe that bookshops are essential to a healthy culture’.
The launch of Bookshop.org in the UK has generated a lot of excitement in the book world. The Guardian ran a story covering the launch which stated it had the potential to be ‘revolutionary’. Bookshop.org might be able to challenge the power monopoly of Amazon and other large corporations .
I spoke to Chorlton Bookshop about their partnership with Bookshop.org. They shared that ‘the launch of Bookshop.org in the UK saved our independent bookseller’s necks. As non essential retail we had to lock our doors to customers, and we were facing a Christmas dominated by Mr. Bezos’.
Bookshop.org has the potential to give local and independent bookshops a lifeline during lockdown and beyond. Please opt for ordering books from ethical companies that support local businesses. Amazon does not need any more of your money.
If you’re interested in sustainable and ethical ways to buy books, check out our article on ‘How to read books sustainably’.