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Why and How to Support Independent Bookstores Online

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Have you been wondering how to support bookstores online? And why? These questions are especially important after experiencing the Coronavirus pandemic, when independent bookstores, like so many other businesses, were struggling to stay afloat.

This post explains exactly why independent bookstores matter so much and provides the easiest way how to support independent bookstores online -- no matter where you live and no matter whether you can leave the house.

Why Independent Bookstores Matter

Independent bookstores matter because they:

  • Stimulate the local economy;
  • Provide local jobs;
  • Pay local taxes;
  • Contribute to the local community;
  • Provide personal service;
  • Offer local events;
  • Give us somewhere to go;
  • Foster unique specialties; and
  • Publicize lesser-known and/or local books.

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Why Independent Bookstores Matter

How to Support Independent Bookstores Online

To support independent bookstores online, simply visit the Bookshop.org website!

Bookshop.org is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Their robust website makes a vast online presence accessible to small stores.

First, 10% of regular website sales are added to an earnings pool that is evenly divided and distributed to independent bookstores.

Second, bookstores affiliated with Bookshop.org earn 30% of the cover price on any sales they generate through their links, without having to do the leg work of managing inventory and customer service.

(Of note, 30% of the cover price is the entire profit margin. Bookshop.org does not earn any money off bookstore sales.)

At checkout, Bookshop.org will tell you exactly how much your order is earning for independent bookstores.

At the time of posting, Bookshop.org earned over $22 million dollars for independent bookstores.

FAQs About Bookshop.org

Below are some facts about Bookshop.org that answer frequently asked questions you may have:

Can you support a specific bookstore on Bookshop.org?

 Find the bookstore on Bookshop.org's map and the bookstore will receive the profit from your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to a pool of earnings distributed among all independent bookstores.

Can you buy ebooks on Bookshop.org?

Ebooks can be purchased on Bookshop.org through a partnership with Hummingbird.

Can you buy audio books on Bookshop.org?

Audiobooks can be purchased on Bookshop.org through a partnership with Libro.fm (an app I personally use regularly and love).

Do books cost more on Bookshop.org?

Books tend to cost more through independent bookstores, as do most local services. However, I often find comparable prices on books, and I look at the extra money a donation to a valuable service.

Of note, at the time of posting, a Libro.fm monthly audiobook subscription is basically the same as competitors ($14.99 for one audiobook credit per month; 30% off additional purchases; easy returns; cancel anytime). It's one of my favorite places where to buy books online cheaply.

And by using my referral link, you can get your first Libro.fm audiobook for free.

Support Independent Bookstores Online

Now that you know why independent bookstores matter and how to support independent bookstores online, start shopping at Bookshop.org today.

Your independent bookstores appreciate you!

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