Amazon has been revealed as the mystery donor which pledged £250,000 to a fundraising drive to help booksellers impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
The internet giant pledged the money to the crowdfunder set up by the trade, the Book Trade Charity c.e.o. David Hicks has confirmed.
With significant backing from Penguin Random House, the crowdfunder went on to raise around £130,000 initially. As revealed yesterday by The Bookseller, that fund has now grown to £380,000 with the new donation,and money is being handed out by the Book Trade Charity through hardship grants.
Hicks had originally kept Amazon's identity a secret, saying only the £250,000 came from a donor "committed to independent bookshops as part of a mixed bookselling economy". However, he decided to go public to quash mounting speculation over the donor's identity.
He confirmed: "The additional boost of £250,000 from Amazon has put us in a very strong position to help even more booksellers suffering hardship from this crisis. We all recognise the value of bookshops to local communities, the trade, as well as the economy, and it is a privilege to represent such a broad cross-section of the industry who have put faith in BTBS to deliver support where it is needed in these difficult times. Confidential and non-judgemental as ever, a simple email to firstname.lastname@example.org will get the process started."
The fundraising effort was launched last month by Gayle Lazda from the London Review Bookshop, Picador commissioning editor Kishani Widyaratna and Daunt Books publisher Zeljka Marosevic last month, and originally had a target of £10,000.
Money can still be pledged to the charity here.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.