National Book Tokens is this week launching a pilot of a series of e-book gift cards, which it says will be an “innovative step forward that will help evolve e-book gifting”.
The cards will be for six genres - literary fiction, mass fiction, crime and thriller, sci-fi and fantasy, romance and adult, and non-fiction – with National Book Tokens saying it would like to work with publishers on further versions of the cards.
National Book Tokens said the cards will “provide UK booksellers with a strong retail solution in this challenging market”.
A pilot scheme for the cards will launch this week in a number of bookshops, including Foyles.
Alex de Berry of National Book Tokens said: “The eBook Gift Card is designed to help facilitate retail sales of e-books. This is a challenging area for all booksellers. Consumers like to give a tangible gift and one that shows thought. Our design-led genre approach addresses both of these needs and delivers a solution to the quandary of gifting a book to someone who e-reads.
“As we all know, book gifting has been affected by the growth of e-books, so we are really keen to see how booksellers and consumers respond to this idea. We are also really keen to work more closely with publishers over the coming months to test other ideas – branded eBook Gift Cards for instance, or cards that promote major book launches.”
The genres chosen “reflect the bulk of the current e-book market”, and have been designed to have “strong visual cues for both purchaser and recipient”.
Janette Cross, manager of Foyles in Charing Cross Road, said: “This is a really innovative idea that will make gifting e-books so much simpler. We already accept National Book Tokens on our website and this continues our commitment to selling books in whatever format people want to read them. We're really keen to see how our customers respond.”
The cards can be redeemed for any e-book at The Indie eBook Shop – the e-book site managed by National Book Tokens on behalf of UK independent booksellers.
National Book Tokens will be showcasing the new eBook Gift Card at this year’s London Book Fair in April on the Booksellers Association group stand 4F21.