Local bookshops are a vital part of our society and culture, yet we are in danger of losing more and more of them. There’s a new kid on the block that might just help: Bookstore.org.

UK bookshops were already under constant threat by large multi-national online companies, and now Covid-19 is having a fearsome impact. Before the global pandemic, things were looking rosy, with sales of printed books rising year on year, and the number of independent bookshops rallying from a fall to less than one thousand in 2014.

Regular readers will know that I’ve been promoting Hive as a way of supporting your local bookshop while buying online. Earlier this week a new platform was launched in the UK: Bookshop.org.

Since launching as a B Corporation in the US in April 2020 by founder Andy Hunter, Bookshop has raised more than $1M for bricks and mortar stores. The company has been explicit in its attempt to provide an alternative to huge companies such as Amazon that dominate the online bookselling industry. Read more

Since its launch in the UK on Monday 2nd November, it has rapidly made a positive impact. By the end of the first day it had raised more than £12,500 via its ‘profit pool’. As we near the end of the first week since its launch, the total raised will easily exceed £60,000.

Bookshop.org says it gives away 75% of its profits. You can choose the local bookshop that you would like to support, and it will receive the full profit (typically 30%) of your order. Otherwise a proportion of your purchase goes into the profit pool that will be shared between all independent bookshops.

The company also runs an affiliate scheme which pays 10% to an affiliate and matches that with a 10% payment to the profit pool. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been accepted as an affiliate and I’ve launched my own virtual store. So, if you visit my virtual store, you’ll not only be supporting me, but your local bookshop at the same time. What’s not to love about that?

Visit uk.bookshop.org/shop/gabrielhemery to purchase any of my books or browse through some of my favourite tree books.

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