Businesses are closing their doors due to the Covid-19 virus, but here’s how you could help your local independent bookshop survive.

The Edinburgh Bookshop
The Edinburgh Bookshop, which supported the launch of my book Green Gold in 2019

With the advent of global Covid-19 pandemic, human society has reached a new tipping point (the subject of my latest free short story Fulcrumosity). Many of us will be worried about our family and loved ones first, and then by those things most dear to us. If you’re a book-lover you have probably already wondered what you can do to help keep your local indie bookshop open.

First of all, check out databases to identify your nearest indie bookstore:

My top ten tips to help your local indie bookshop/store:

  1. Bookshops may be able to take orders and deliver locally. Check out their website to find out. The Edinburgh Bookshop is currently one example.
  2. Bookshops may be able to take orders over the phone. Why not try giving them a ring?
  3. Buy a gift certificate from your local indie bookshop. They can easily post them to you.
  4. Place a pre-order for that book you’ve been waiting for.
  5. If you are venturing outside, why not walk past your favourite bookstore and see if they have a table outside the front or a message in the window?
  6. Follow your local bookstore on social media or sign-up to their enews so you can keep up-to-date with their activities and news.
  7. Wondering what to read next? You could give your local indie bookshop a call and ask for advice. Just make sure you buy a book when you do.
  8. Many independent bookstores have relationships with local authors. Visit their website or social media to see if they’re offering special editions, signed copies, and other unique offerings that you certainly won’t find in the global online bookstores.
  9. You could consider donating to a charity or not-for-profit that supports the book trade. In the UK, take a look at The Book Trade Charity. In the US, check out the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
  10. If none of these options work for you, remember you could choose to purchase a book via the online bookseller Hive which contributes a percentage to an indie bookshop of your choice with every purchase.

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