“Thanks to Bookshop, there is no reason to buy books on Amazon anymore.” — Inside Hook
Thank you for using Bookshop.org!
A better way to buy books online
To help local, independent bookstores thrive in the age of ecommerce.
We work to connect readers with independent booksellers all over the world. We believe local bookstores are essential community hubs that foster culture, curiosity, and a love of reading, and we're committed to helping them survive and thrive. Our platform gives independent bookstores tools to compete online and financial support to help them maintain their presence in local communities.
“The Rebel Alliance standing up to the Amazon Empire.” — Chicago Tribune
Bookshop.org began as an idea to help support bookstores and their communities at a time when more and more people were buying their books online. We saw an opportunity to create an alternative to Amazon for socially-conscious online shoppers. Amazon sells over 60% of all books in the US and is growing. That shift threatens the future of bookstores and will hurt readers, authors, and publishers who rely on a diverse, healthy ecosystem for books. We had a better idea — give readers the convenience of online shopping while supporting independent bookstores at the same time.
We launched in January of 2020, with just 88 bookstore partners and a team of four passionate book people.
As the COVID-19 pandemic surged, our growing platform helped our community of independent booksellers survive shutdowns. That spring, traffic to Bookshop.org hit 1 million users in a single day. By the end of 2020 we had grown to over 1,000 bookstores, raised over ten million dollars for our profit-sharing pool, and 78% of our customers said they regularly bought books from Amazon before they made the switch.
Bookshop.org has since expanded internationally, launching Bookshop.org UK and Bookshop.org Spain. As a Climate Neutral company, we are committed to operating sustainably. Certified as a B Corp, Bookshop.org puts our mission and the public good above financial interests, giving over 80% of our profit margin to independent bookstores. It is written in our governance documents that we will never sell the company to Amazon or any major U.S. retailer.
“Because of Bookshop.org, I'm not concerned about our viability ... I can thrive rather than just survive.” — Noëlle Santos, The Lit. Bar, Bronx, NY
How Bookshop.org Works:
We ship your books from our wholesaler's warehouse directly to you, handle the customer service and overhead, and the bookstores get the profit.
“This funding came at the most perfect time when I prayed I would have rent for next month and payroll and purchases. Your team will never, ever, know how much booksellers like me appreciate your business.” — VaLinda Miller, The Turning Page Bookshop, Goose Creek, SC
Bookshop.org partners with over 1,400 independent bookstores. If you want to locate a specific bookstore to support, find them on our map and they'll receive the full profit from your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that is evenly distributed among independent bookstores.
If you are an author, a publisher, a book club member, or even just a book-lover with an Instagram feed, you can sign up to be an affiliate on Bookshop.org. Our affiliate program pays a 10% commission on every sale, and donates a matching 10% to independent bookstores. Start your own shop, share links to the reads you love, and be rewarded for your advocacy of books.
“These funds mean more than money. It means community to me. And for that, I will be forever grateful.” — Fawn Fernandes, owner, Curious Capybara Bookshop
How You Can Help:
Let's fight for local, independent bookstores getting their fair share of direct-to-home online book sales, and increase the market size for all bookstores.
- Always try to buy directly from independent bookstores when you can!
- Get the word out! Tell your friends and family, and post on social media: let book buyers know there's a better way to buy books online.
- #maketheswitch and always link directly to your favorite indie bookstore website or Bookshop.org instead of Amazon.
- If you're a publisher, author, influencer, or cultural organization, become an affiliate and use Bookshop.org links in your content, social media, digital advertising, and email marketing. You'll earn a commission AND help preserve indie bookstores!
- If you are a library or school that gets books from Amazon, or uses Amazon registries for book donations, you can switch to Bookshop.org wishlists and all your purchases will raise money for indie bookstores.
“We would be gone now if it weren't for Bookshop sales. And the income keeps coming; Bookshop has become our bookstore's partner in so many ways.” — Nancy C. Hanger, Star Cat Books
Where The Money Goes:(Graph data based on combined 2020 and 2021 fiscal years.)
“Bookshop has absolutely transformed our business, and I am just so continually grateful for your service and, ultimately, support. Thank you so much for your vision and your commitment to us indies.” — Lexi Walters Wright, High Five Books
Who Owns Bookshop.org?
Bookshop.org is not backed by venture capital or corporate money. We have a small group of investors who are passionate about books. Our owners include:
- Andy Hunter (Founder)
- The American Booksellers Association
- Morgan Entrekin
- William Hearst
- Robert Terry McDonell
- Kevin Morris
- Michael Zilkha
- And Bookshop.org's employees
Bookshop.org's Board of Directors
- Hannah Oliver Depp
- Kelly Estep
- Morgan Entrekin
- Andy Hunter
- Mitchell Kaplan
- Robert Terry McDonell
- Michael Zilkha
“I can't see a future that doesn't involve Bookshop.” — Bob Fisher, Walden Pond Books
Do you have questions? Read the FAQ or please Contact Us.
Can I partner or advertise with Bookshop.org?
Does Bookshop.org ship to Canada or internationally?
We hope to help support bookstores all over the world in the future.
How do I report a problem with the website or my order?
What do I do if I've received a damaged, incorrect, or otherwise defective order?
If you have received damaged, defective, or incorrectly shipped merchandise please contact customer service here.
How do I return an order if I receive a book that I don't want?
You may return an unwanted item within 14 days of the delivery date for a full refund of the cost of the books returned including initial shipping costs. To ensure your package is returned correctly, please return the package to the address indicated below and display the order number prominently on the packaging. Return postage is to be covered by the sender. If you have any further questions regarding your return please reach out to: [email protected].
Mail returns to:Bookshop.org: [your PO Number]
Ingram Customer Returns Center
7311 Innovation Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46818
Will Bookshop.org sell audiobooks and or ebooks?
We sell ebooks via an affiliate partnership with Hummingbird and audiobooks via Libro.fm. You can see the links to each partner's site on the product page of titles that are carried by the respective partner.
How does Bookshop work with independent bookstores?
Bookshop supports indies in two ways:
- 10% of regular sales on Bookshop.org are added to an earnings pool that is evenly divided and distributed to independent bookstores every six months.
- Stores that are affiliates also can share their Bookshop.org links on social media, email newsletters, or on their websites to earn 30% of the cover price (the full profit margin) on any sales they generate, without having to do the work of keeping inventory, picking, packing, shipping or handling complaints and returns.
All books are sent from our wholesaler Ingram, not the bookstore's actual inventory.
How does Bookshop.org promote local bookstores?
- Every receipt informs customers about the bookstores near them.
- If a Bookshop.org customer opts in, their local bookstore will be given their email address
- Affiliate stores can create recommendation lists (staff picks, etc) on Bookshop.org, boosting their visibility and earning a commission on every sale generated from the list.
How do I set up an affiliate account?
Anyone can create an account at https://bookshop.org/affiliates/profile/introduction.
If I'm an affiliate, do I have to disclose that on my website, newsletter or social media posts?
Yes. Whenever a link is used on your website that results in a commission, you must disclose this information to site visitors, according to FTC rules. We suggest adding something like: "Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org where your purchases support local bookstores. I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase." to your website or post.
If I'm an affiliate, how are the sales of my books handled?
Affiliates do not have to handle inventory, fulfillment, shipping, or customer service. All book sales are fulfilled by Ingram. Ingram's extensive inventory and regional warehouse system ensures Bookshop.org that books can reach customers in as soon as 2-3 days.
As an affiliate, how do I get paid for the books that sell, how much will Bookshop.org pay me, and when will Bookshop.org pay it?
All affiliates can withdraw their revenue whenever they like via Stripe using an easy web interface, provided they have a balance of $20 or more.
Bookstores participating in the revenue share receive payments every six months.
What does Bookshop.org's packaging look like?
Books shipped by Bookshop.org arrive in simple packaging. We aim to create as little waste as possible, and we are a climate neutral company.
How much money does Bookshop.org keep? How do authors get paid?
- The publisher is generally paid about 50% of a book's sale price, and the publisher pays the author.
- About 20% goes to our customer discount, payment processing, and fulfillment costs.
- If you're a bookstore customer, the remaining 30% goes to the bookstore you chose.
- If you're an affiliate's customer, 10% goes to the affiliate, 10% goes to the bookstore profit pool, and 10% goes to Bookshop.org.
- If you're a direct customer, 10% goes to the bookstore profit pool, and 20% goes to Bookshop.org.
- In 2021, 81% of our gross profit margin went directly to independent bookstores.
FAQ for Bookstores:
Bookstores with physical locations who are ABA members (with one of the following ABA memberships: Provisional, Pop-up, Mobile, or Storefront) qualify as a bookseller on our platform and can be added to our bookstore finder map, receive a 30% commission on sales, and receive customer order information. Please email Justin Walls at [email protected] if you qualify.
- Bookshop.org's conversion rate for bookstore shop pages averages 12%. That's twice the industry average, and means that our stores earn more sales and revenue, without any overhead.
- Our stores' curated book lists can go viral; a few have driven six-figure sales for several of our stores. They also can rank high on Google search results.
- Over 1000 customers choose a bookstore to support on our store finder map every day.
- We're always upgrading: since we launched, we've added many improvements for our stores, and we have lots more planned in 2022.
What kind of reporting can I receive, and how frequently?
Affiliates can get reporting and see their sales activity at any time on their dashboard on our website, or download the transactions.
Why does Bookshop.org discount books?
We are still experimenting with discounting. If we find discounts are necessary to be a viable alternative for our customers, we may continue to discount books. But to minimize the price difference between in-store purchases and online purchases, we will limit discounts to 10% and under. All discounts come out of Bookshop.org's share of the profits, not the bookstores.
One of my customers wants a title not in Bookshop.org's your inventory. How can I get it on my storefront?
Currently, we are limited to the books in Ingram's catalog. We hope to expand our inventory partnerships in the future; until then, see if you can get the title distributed by Ingram.
Does Bookshop.org share customer info with affiliates?
For normal affiliates, the answer is no, due to respect for our customer's privacy. For bookstores who use Bookshop.org to sell books, yes, unless the customer opts-out. We consider these customers your customers, and every sale generated through your store's affiliate links is made available to you.
How does Bookshop.org target online customers?
Bookshop.org is designed to generate affiliate revenue. Our network of publishers, authors, bookstagrammers, celebrity book clubs, and other media sites reaches socially-conscious online consumers who are not yet buying their books online through an independent bookstore.
Bookshop.org's interface and purchase process is designed to be as convenient, streamlined, and user-friendly as possible, for an alternative that is just as easy as our competitors.
78% of our customers previously were Amazon customers, according to our customer survey.
Can Bookshop.org take the place of my store's website?
Any bookstore that wants to use Bookshop.org to sell books online can do so free of charge.
Bookshop.org allows you to sell books online and earn 30% of the cover price without worrying about inventory, fulfillment, shipping, returns, or customer service.
Bookshop.org's pages can feature a short bio, social media links, and a series of book lists curated by your store.
If you'd like to have a website that features: event listings and ticketings, signed pre-order campaigns, custom merch, in-store pickup, etc., we recommend setting up a website through the ABA (IndieLite or IndieCommerce).
Do I need to provide my bank details?
If you've earned money on Bookshop.org, whenever you want to withdraw funds you can enter your bank details (via Stripe, accessible from your Affiliate Dashboard) and Bookshop.org will allow you to transfer your funds at will. Stores participating in the 10% revenue share pool can receive these funds via check, ACH transfer, or Stripe. Please email Justin Walls ([email protected]) if you'd like to change your payment preference before the next profit-share pool payout.
How do I list our store's books on Bookshop.org?
Any books in Ingram's inventory are automatically listed on Bookshop.org. Specialty books and products that are not included in Ingram's catalog may be added as we develop the platform in the future.
Does Bookshop.org allow for in-store pickup?
Bookshop.org does not allow for in-store pickup yet, but we hope to in the not too distant future.
If my question isn't answered here?
Ask us a question: [email protected].