Bookshop Levels the Playing Field

A new website offers an easy way to purchase books online while taking care of the shop in your own neighborhood.

Books at Lit. On Fire

With many of us stuck at home these days, you may be hungry for new reading material. With local bookstores closed, however, it might seem that Amazon is the only viable alternative. But did you know you could shop online while supporting your favorite local booksellers—people in your own community who you know and trust—whose margins are fragile and razor-thin? 

Launched in January 2020, Bookshop.org offers an easy way to purchase books online while taking care of the shop in your own neighborhood. To support a specific store, just find them on the map and they’ll receive the full profit from your order. Otherwise your dollars will be pooled and evenly distributed among independent bookstores—even those that don’t use the service. In addition, Bookshop’s affiliate program allows authors, book clubs and others to advocate for their favorite books while earning a commission on every sale. 

“Bookshop helps small indie bookstores be seen and heard in a world where the odds are stacked against them,” says Jessica Stephenson of Lit. On Fire in Peoria. “It levels the playing field for indies everywhere by offering a competitive e-commerce platform that not only puts them on the map, but gives them a fighting chance against industry giants like Amazon.”

As a B-Corp.—a benefit corporation dedicated to the public good—Bookshop gives away more than 75 percent of its profits to stores, publications, authors, and other anchors of book culture. “They’re the heroes we need,” Stephenson declares. PM

Support your local bookshops on Bookshop! Purchase from Lit. On Fire at bookshop.org/shop/litonfire and from Book Rack at bookshop.org/shop/bookrackpeoria

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