Bookshop.org calls on industry to expand online links beyond Amazon

To mark Independent Bookshop Week (IBW, 19-26 June 2021), the annual celebration of independent bookshops run by the Booksellers Association, Bookshop (Bookshop.org) is calling for publishers and authors to pledge to link to independent bookshops and Bookshop.org for the duration of IBW (and beyond).


As an incentive, Bookshop will be increasing its pool payment to indies from 10 to 20 per cent for the entire week. The platform hopes this will encourage non-bookshop affiliates of all types (including publishers, authors, media companies, books clubs, bloggers, influencers, etc.) to take the pledge to add at least one link to all of their social media posts to include Bookshop or indie bookshops directly.

Bookshop provides booksellers on the platform with two revenue streams: 30 per cent commission earned on sales that come through the store’s links, book lists or shop page, and a 10 per cent cut on all other sales on the platform. Bookshop is planning to increase this second shared pool (which is divided equally among all participating bookshops) to 20 per cent for the duration of Independent Bookshop Week. As well as encouraging everyone to support their local indie in person, Bookshop is offering the chance to anyone buying books online to show increased (and concrete) support for indies during the week.


With the call-out and the added pool payment, Bookshop aims to give the book industry an incentive to break with old habit to treat Amazon as the default for book links. The call to action is to take the time to think before using, or buying from, a link online, and to make people in the industry realise that with their choice of links, they drive consumer behaviour as well.

Jasper Sutcliffe, Publisher & Affiliate Manager at Bookshop UK, said: During Independent Bookshop Week, we are keen to show our support for indies even more. Not only will our initiative allow independent booksellers to increase their revenue during the week, but we’re also hoping to raise awareness on the issue of book links. When a publisher or an author connects a reader to Bookshop.org, Blackwell’s or another independent bookshop, a link becomes more than a link. It supports the cultural ecosystem and ensures online purchases support independent bookshops. Our hope is that the publishing industry will pledge to link to indies and Bookshop.org for the whole of IBW, and beyond.”


Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said: Independent Bookshop Week is one of our favourite moments of the year, where we encourage everyone to take some time to celebrate the amazing work of independent booksellers. This year, we’re excited that Bookshop is drawing people’s attention to how vital it is to support independent bookshops – which includes being mindful of where you link to, and where you click through to buy your books from. We hope Independent Bookshop Week will see the start of a new trend in the publishing industry, pledging a support for indies – and the wider high street bookselling ecosystem – that goes beyond the week of the campaign.”


Laurence Harvie, Marketing & Communications Director at Thames & Hudson said: “We’re looking forward to celebrating Independent Bookshop Week by driving awareness of and online traffic to Bookshop.org. The last year has been a stark reminder of the crucial role the many brilliant independently owned bookshops play in their communities. The booksellers’ resilience and ongoing passion for their work throughout two successive national lockdowns has been hugely inspiring. We’re delighted to help bring more readers through their virtual doors.”


Faber and Faber said: “We’re pleased to respond to Bookshop’s call-out and to further our support for independent bookshops by committing to use indie links when sharing books online and on our social media during Independent Bookshop Week. We are glad to join a much-needed conversation and we hope many publishers will pledge to use links to independent bookshops during that week.”