Second Shelf campaign helps Peters to bumper Bookshop sales

Second Shelf campaign helps Peters to bumper Bookshop sales

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press) has topped online retailer Bookshop.org's bestsellers chart for April, while a campaign by bookshop The Second Shelf helped Torrey Peters' Detransition, Baby (Serpent’s Tail) hit third place.

The “Indie Champions” list, first launched last month, highlights the books that generated the most money for the independent bookshops affiliated with the book buying platform. Women's Prize-winner Hamnet, currently topping the UK official chart, was the title that made the most profit for independent bookshops.

At number two, the highest new entry in this month’s list is What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition by Emma Dabiri (Penguin), an essay around race and social-media discourse with a historically grounded analysis of anti-racism. A tweet pinned to the author’s profile and including a link to purchase the book from Bookshop.org received 1.6k likes and 360 retweets.

Detransition, Baby was the second highest new entry, and the third most profit-generating book for indies in April. The result was partly due to a campaign launched by London-based feminist bookshop The Second Shelf on Bookshop.org and social media earlier this month. Following online attacks over Peters' nomination in the Women’s Prize longlist, the shop decided to donate £1 for every sale of a book from the Women’s Prize longlist made through Bookshop.org to trans-led organisations. In just one day, they sold more than 130 copies.

A N Devers, owner of The Second Shelf, said: “My shop, as a bookshop of books primarily by women, includes and celebrates all women writers and demonstrates support in any way we can. The book is tremendous and deserves its accolades. It was a one-minute decision, I just thought trans women writers deserve access to prizes and I want to do something to celebrate all the nominees and sell their books but give back to trans rights.

“Bookshop is an incredible platform for us to do this kind of campaign with. I think Bookshop.org is a form of a social-purpose business, and therefore it is a wonderful fit for promoting important voices, projects, and awareness building in a very positive way. And because of the ease of using and ordering on the platform, interrupting online sales that might otherwise go to Amazon, and with sales being distributed to indie bookstores, it feels uniquely positioned to help promote books and do good at the same time.”

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Canongate) was fifth while Douglas Stuart's Booker-winning Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Picador) occupied the fifth slot, followed by Kazuo Ishiguro 's Klara and the Sun (Faber).

One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A Greener Way to Cook for You, Your Family and the Planet by Anna Jones (HarperCollins) took seventh, followed by Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (Orion), The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (HarperCollins) and Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS by Michael Rosen (Ebury).

Nicole Vanderbilt, m.d. at Bookshop UK, said: “The April list of our Indie Champions is a testament to how bookshops can be a force for good. We’re delighted to see Hamnet topping the chart, and we’re excited that What White People Can Do Next and Detransition, Baby are also among our top-selling books across the whole of April. We’re thrilled that we are able to help to these wonderful titles get the recognition they deserve. Naming the books that have made the most money for our affiliate bookshops, our Indie Champions list this month shows how activism and book sales can go hand in hand.”