Bookshop website makes £500,000 for indies

Bookshop website makes £500,000 for indies

Indie-focused retail site Bookshop.org has now made more than £500,000 for stores in just over a month since its launch.

The firm, which gives indies 30% of the cover price of titles sold through their storefronts, began business in the UK on 2nd November and has continued to add indies and publishers to its site ever since.

By 8th December, the site had amassed more than £509,000 for bookshops.

Nicole Vanderbilt, m.d. at Bookshop UK, said: "We are thrilled to see readers supporting independent bookshops with online spending at this scale. At the same time, we are delighted to be hearing stories of many local bookshops experiencing some of their biggest days of trading in-store this past week."

Last week, a letter emerged from bookseller Tamsin Rosewell to the Booksellers Association raising concerns about the site, its “aggressive” launch and its potential impact on existing bookshop websites.

In response, BA m.d. Meryl Halls said no one was being forced to join the site. She said: "Our role has been to facilitate an option for booksellers who needed it, some desperately, and to ensure that its mission continues to be the benefit of indie booksellers.”

As indies celebrated huge physical sales in recent days after lockdown ended and Christmas approaches, Peter Brook, owner of BrOOK's in Pinner, north-west London, said the website had made a big difference already.

He told The Bookseller: “We certainly realise this new online platform is not for every independent bookseller. We can see why some bookshops and chains who have terrific e-commerce sites already question elements of it. However, quite simply, without Bookshop.org as the engine behind our e-store our path to opening would have been even tougher."