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BookshopAt the fall trade shows in September 2019, the American Booksellers Association shared with members news about a new online platform called Bookshop that would be launching in January 2020 with an explicit mission to promote and financially support the bricks-and-mortar bookselling community. ABA also announced plans to invest in the new platform.

Created as a B-Corp, Bookshop provides online customers who are not currently buying books on indie bookstore sites an easy-to-use platform that features one-click purchasing; a clear, intuitive interface; and fast shipping (fulfillment is handled by Ingram). 

To date, more than a dozen sites have switched some or all of their buy buttons from Amazon to Bookshop, including, Buzzfeed, Esquire, Self, Conde Nast Traveler, Good Housekeeping, New York Magazine, Real Simple, and Men’s Health.

The ABA Booksellers Advisory Council participated in a presentation and discussion about Bookshop to help inform the ABA Board’s decision to invest in Bookshop. The ABA Board vetted Bookshop for over a year before voting for the ABA to invest. 

ABA discussed Bookshop and ABA’s investment and answered questions at the 2019 fall regional trade shows, where ABA passed out a brochure to members that explained Bookshop and listed investors, including ABA. Bookshop was also discussed with members at the 2019 Spring Forums.

ABA held a Bookshop session at Winter Institute 2020 in Baltimore for members to ask questions about Bookshop. ABA fielded questions about Bookshop from members at both 2020 Town Halls (in January and June).

While ABA does not own Bookshop, ABA invested $100,000 in Bookshop and holds a 3.4% stake in the company (the initial investment of 4% was diluted to 3.4% when an employee equity pool was added). ABA’s financials are public and posted at the end of each fiscal year on BookWeb. (The Bookshop investment was made in fiscal year 2020 and will be posted spring 2021.)

Serving on Bookshop’s Board of Directors are three independent booksellers:

  • Hannah Oliver Depp of Loyalty Bookstores in Washington, D.C., and Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Kelly Estep of Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books in Florida

Booksellers can participate in Bookshop in two ways:

Sign up to be a partner: 10 percent of every sale on Bookshop goes to ABA member bookstores that opt in as partners; these funds are divided evenly among participating bookstores nationwide and dispersed by Bookshop every six months. To be eligible for the pool payout, stores must be ABA members with a physical location (this includes pop-ups). There are no other requirements, and there is no fee to become a partner. 

Sign up to be an affiliate: Affiliate stores that sell books online using Bookshop (by sharing Bookshop links on social media, in email newsletters, or on their websites) earn 30 percent commission on any sales they generate. All orders are fulfilled through Ingram, and Bookshop handles the inventory, fulfillment, shipping, customer service, and returns. Affiliate stores are also listed on Bookshop’s store finder on

Stores should email Bookshop’s Steph Opitz to sign up for the partner or affiliate programs.

ABA’s will continue to provide book browsers with book recommendations from independent booksellers, shopping options, and a map of independent bookstores throughout the country. 

Bookshop is not a replacement for IndieCommerce sites or for any store that’s happy with its own e-commerce. 

Proceeds from sales made via the Bookshop link on are reinvested in ABA’s programming. 

Visit Bookshop’s FAQ page for more information.

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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