“Bookshop.org hopes to play Rebel Alliance to Amazon’s Empire”
“An Indie Alternative to Amazon”
Welcome to Bookshop!
Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.
We believe that bookstores are essential to a healthy culture of readers and writers. They’re where authors can connect with readers, where we discover new writers, where children get hooked on the thrill of reading that can last a lifetime. They’re also anchors for our downtowns and communities.
As more people buy their books online, we wanted to create an easy, convenient way to get your books and still support local bookstores. We also wanted to create a place where authors, groups, individuals, and publications can earn affiliate fees that benefit local bookstores.
We hope that Bookshop can help strengthen the fragile ecosystem and margins around bookselling and keep local bookstores an integral part of our culture and communities.
Bookshop also has an affiliate program that allows anyone to earn a commission from selling books, while giving back to bookstores. So if you have a bookclub, or a PTA, or a website, or a #bookstagram feed, sign up to be an affiliate to be rewarded for your advocacy of books--Bookshop wants to give back to you, as a supporter of reading and independent bookstores!
Bookshop will be a B-Corp - a corporation dedicated to the public good. By design, we give away about 75% of our profit margin to the stores, publications, and people that make up the thriving, inspirational culture around books!
How does Bookshop work with independent bookstores?
- Bookshop will support indies in two ways: 10% of sales on Bookshop.org support participating independent bookstores in an overall earnings pool that is evenly divided and distributed to stores every six months.
- Stores that are affiliates, who sell books online using Bookshop (by sharing links their Bookshop link on social media, email newsletters, or on their websites) will earn 25% commission directly on any sales they generate, without having to do the work of keeping inventory, picking, packing, shipping or handling complaints and returns.
- All orders are fulfilled through Ingram.
How does Bookshop promote local bookstores?
- Every receipt we email customers will inform them about the bookstores near them, and include event listings for those stores.
- If a Bookshop customer opts in, their local bookstore will be given their email address for direct marketing.
- Affiliate stores can create recommendation lists (staff picks, etc) on Bookshop, boosting their visibility and earning the 25% affiliate commission on every sale generated from the list.
If I'm an affiliate, how are the sales of my books handled?
- Affiliates do not have to handle inventory, fulfillment, shipping, or customer service. All book sales are fulfilled by Ingram. Ingram’s extensive inventory and regional warehouse system ensures Bookshop that books can reach customers in as soon as 2-3 days.
How do I get paid for the books that sell, how much will you pay me, and when will you pay it?
- Affiliates can withdraw their revenue whenever they like via an easy web interface, provided they have a balance of $20 or more.
- Bookstores participating in the revenue share will receive payments every six months. The revenue share will be divided equally among partners.
What kind of reporting will I receive, and how frequently?
- Affiliates will be able to get reporting and see their sales activity at any time on their dashboard on our website, or download the transactions.
Can I customize my affiliate page?
- Yes. Affiliates can customize their pages by uploading banner images, logos or user icons, and creating book lists. There is also a bio section at the top of your page.
FAQ for Bookstores:
Can Bookshop take the place of my store's website?
- If you’d like to have a website that features: event listings and ticketings, signed pre-order campaigns, in-store pickup, etc. we recommend setting up a website through the ABA (IndieLite or IndieCommerce).
- Any bookstore that wants to use Bookshop as a simple page to sell books online can do so.
- Bookshop pages are free!
- Bookshop pages allow you to sell books and earn 25% of the cover price without worrying about inventory, fulfillment, shipping, returns, or customer service.
- Bookshop pages will feature your short bio section, social media profiles, and a series of book lists curated by your store.
- Bookshop webpages are simple and as such, Bookshop profiles do not feature much site customization, in-store pickup, or provide in-store inventory. Bookshop is also currently unable to offer stores to sell their unique merchandise on Bookshop.org. Stores wanting a fully-featured website should look at IndieCommerce or IndieLite.
Is Bookshop replacing the ABA's IndieCommerce and IndieLite sites?
- Nope! IndieCommerce and IndieLite are not going away. Think of Bookshop as “IndieLiteLite,” a free, less customizable online storefront that requires no technical knowledge or investment. Stores happy with their online sites should choose whichever ecommerce site works best for them. Of course you may use Bookshop in addition to whichever online site you’re using.
Why does Bookshop discount books?
- We are experimenting with discounting. If we find discounts are necessary to be a viable alternative for our customers, we may discount books. But to minimize the price difference between in-store purchases and online purchases, we will keep the discounts to 10% and under. And if we discover our customers are willing to shop without discounts, we may stop discounting! For now, we need the option as we A/B test and improve the platform.
Will Bookshop share customer info with affiliates?
- For bookstores who use Bookshop to sell books, yes, unless the customer opts-out. Every sale generated through your store’s affiliate links will be made available to you.
How is Bookshop targeting online customers?
- Bookshop is designed for generating affiliate revenue. Our team is working to build a network of publishers, authors, bookstagrammers, celebrity book clubs, and other media sites to target socially-conscious online consumers who are not yet buying their books online through an independent bookstore.
- Bookshop’s interface and purchase process is designed to be as convenient, streamlined, and user-friendly as possible, for an alternative that is just as easy as our competitors.
Do I need to provide my bank details?
- If you’re an affiliate (receiving 25% commission on your site links), whenever you want to withdraw funds, you can enter your bank details and Bookshop will allow you to transfer your funds at any time.
- Stores participating in the 10% revenue share pool will receive checks in the mail every six months, no need to share any info other than your name and address.
How do I list our store's books with Bookshop's platform?
- Any books in Ingram’s inventory will automatically be listed when we launch. Specialty books and products that are not included in Ingram’s catalog may be added as we develop the platform in the future.
How do I set up an account?
- Anyone can create an account at https://bookshop.org/affiliate_profile/introduction
- If you’re a bookseller, please email Sarah at [email protected].
Will you sell audiobooks and or ebooks?
- We plan on including audiobooks and ebooks through partnerships with other platforms by March, 2020.
What will the shipping packaging from Bookshop look like?
- Books shipped from Bookshop will be arrive in simple packaging.
One of my customers wants a title not in the catalog. How can I get it on my storefront?
- At launch, we will be limited to the books in Ingram’s catalog. By the end of 2020, we expect to have other partnerships and features in place that will allow us to carry materials, such as used books, and other specialty books and products that are not in Ingram’s inventory.
Does Bookshop allow for in-store pickup?
- Bookshop will not feature in-store pickup. Stores wishing to have in-store pickup may look to IndieCommerce or IndieLite website options.
If I want to sign up my store, or if my question isn’t answered here?
- Email Sarah at [email protected].