Holiday shopping has looked very different this year for a lot of families thanks to COVID-19. I know many of us are relying solely on online shopping this year, but I believe it’s important to remember that buying online doesn’t have to mean giving all our money to big box stores. Small businesses that already faced so much uncertainty due to the competition of massive corporations are now suffering from the impacts of a global pandemic. So, today I want to highlight a website that supports independently owned bookstores: Bookshop.org.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t know much about bookshop.org until I started my blog. I had used it to purchase from independent bookstores that weren’t local to me, and I knew I could use the site to find local independently owned stores, but I was unclear on exactly how they supported bookstores nationwide.
So I did some digging and there are a few ways bookshop.org helps independently-owned bookstores. They add bookstores to their map, allowing customers to find local stores to shop at, but they also provide a sales platform for those stores. Stores who set up a storefront on bookshop.com receive a 30% commission from sales made. (Which sounds small, but bookstores generally only make up to 40% of the price they charge for a book.) On top of that, Bookshop has a profit sharing program that ensures 10% of all sales on their site go back to independently-owned bookstores, even if they don’t sell on the site. You can feel confident that any purchases made on bookshop.org are helping bookstores across the country during a time when they need our support.
If you aren’t sure where to start, I would personally recommend some of the booklists in my shop. (Of course, I’m not biased or anything.) I always add books I review here on the blog to my Recent Reviews list. Books featured on my Instagram are always added to the Featured on Instagram list. I also have some more curated lists for my book recommendation posts, like this one for my World Kindness Day post, this one for Nonfiction November, and this one for International Men’s Day.
I don’t know about you, but my local bookstore is my happy place, and I can’t wait to finally show it to my son after we have been vaccinated. Bookshop gives me a great way to support all my favorite indies across the country, even if I can’t physically visit them right now, so they will still be around when I can.
What are your favorite independently-owned bookstores? Have you found any creative ways to support local businesses during the pandemic? Please share in the comments below!