Marketing Meetup Recap: How to Use More Effectively

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On Tuesday, April 27, the American Booksellers Association hosted a Marketing Meetup dedicated to using more effectively.

Guest speakers included: Bookshop Partnerships Manager Sarah High; Lexi Walters Wright and Kinsey Foreman of High Five Books; and Vincent Onorati from WORD Bookstores.

A recording of this session can be found on the Education Resources page on

Here are some of the key points from the session:

  • For ABA members who have paid their annual dues, Bookshop is a free way for indie bookstores to gain community support online. It can be used by itself or alongside another e-commerce platform.
  • Bookstores on Bookshop receive 30 percent of revenue from the Bookshop page and Bookshop links. They are also added to the website’s Bookstore Map, and stores with physical locations are opted into Bookshop’s 10 percent profit-share pool.
  • The profit-share pool is 10 percent of all non-bookstore affiliate sales on Bookshop. It is split every six months between ABA members signed up with Bookshop.
  • Bookshop runs via “cookies” in web browsers, so it’s important for bookstores to link out properly to their Bookshop page. This also allows customers to give commission to a specific store rather than the general 10 percent profit-share pool.
  • To properly link out, booksellers should use their custom URL, lists, widgets, or direct book links.
  • Bookshop pages can be used for direct-to-home orders, pre-orders (nothing signed), any and all web orders, and book orders for things that aren’t in-store.
  • One feature Bookshop has are custom book lists. Bookstores should post three lists of 10-20 titles to their Bookshop page to start; aim to add at least one new list per month. Sarah High offers weekly lists for bookstores that would like to use them. Contact Sarah High here.
  • Make sure to infuse lists with personality. Seasonal/topical lists, like Pride Month, Black History Month, or spring reads, can be a great way to capture the attention of new customers.
  • URLs included on lists work as affiliate links, so customers who click them will be directed to that specific store.
  • At High Five Books, Bookshop has been essential during the pandemic. The store communicates the difference between shopping on Bookshop versus shopping on their regular website by highlighting the different types of shipping options. For example: books that can be purchased through their website are “pickup and local delivery.” Books that must be purchased through Bookshop are “ship-to-home.”
  • High Five also uses Bookshop for virtual school book fairs. It’s advertised through a button that reads “Fundraise With Us.” The store uses a special Bookshop page for book fairs that includes custom book lists for their community to browse through.
  • WORD Bookstores has made the messaging on their website regarding Bookshop as clear as possible. On their website, they have a block advertising Bookshop next to a block for their IndieCommerce site. The Bookshop block highlights that, when they click through, customers will only browse books for delivery.