InsideHook: “Independent bookstores around the country have a particularly clever lifeline, one perfectly suited to the unprecedented moment we find ourselves in. The strange part? It came into being just weeks before the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and before the bookstores started closing up shop wondering if they’d reopen at all. The lifeline in question is called Bookshop. In simple terms, it’s a super clean, user-friendly online bookstore whose raison d’être is supporting independent bookstores — not simply with exposure or resources (though that’s certainly a factor), but with cold hard cash. Implicitly? For the first time in 25 years — since Jeff Bezos launched Amazon as “Earth’s biggest bookstore,” effectively waging war against all booksellers (from chains to indies) and devouring market share at all costs until it owned about half of all new book sales — independent bookstores are fighting back, not just with expertly curated tables or eloquent shelf talkers, but with Amazon’s own tactics. And with Bookshop, they just might win.
“There are almost 2,000 bookstores in the country, and only about 150 of them have good online shopping platforms,” Andy Hunter, CEO and founder of Bookshop, tells InsideHook. “That leaves a lot of stores that haven’t adapted, and Amazon’s kind of eating their lunch.”..