Buy Local: Bookshop.org
After joining Bookshop.org’s affiliate program a few months back, I wanted to share an update about the only affiliate program I’m currently enrolled in.
Here’s my original article on Medium, “If You Write About Books, Check Out Bookshop’s Affiliate Program,” for a point of reference.
What is Bookshop.org?
As a refresher, Bookshop.org is “an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores.”
The charm of Bookshop is their commitment to supporting independent bookstores while also being easy and convenient for online shoppers. If you have a favorite independent bookstore, you can make sure that particular store gets the support from your purchases, but it isn’t necessary.
I started shopping through Bookshop.org a few years back and felt better immediately about helping to support real bookstores (versus Amazon). Yes, I know Amazon is great for many types of purchases, but since I want to live in a world where bookstores exist, I buy my books from other stores whenever I can.
Why support independent bookstores?
The short version: to support authors, publishers, booksellers, etc.
As Bookshop says on their “About” page, “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.”
One of the things I love about going into a bookstore is the personal connection, even if I don’t talk to anyone who works there. Seeing books selected by the employees, looking at how books are arranged — that’s all part of knowing there are real humans — book lovers like me — behind the line.
In an article in Writer’s Digest from 2018, “Why Independent Bookstores Matter Now More Than Ever,” Julie Rosenberg says, “Booksellers are people — they are consummate bibliophiles who take joy in matching reader to writer. And that human component is an important part of the literary experience.”
Bookshop.org tries to match that same vibe on their website.
Why I joined the Bookshop.org Affiliate Program
When I learned that Bookshop had an affiliate program that pays verified users 10% of purchases made through affiliate links, I think I squealed.
I write about books regularly for Medium (and Substack) and I pretty much never stop recommending my favorites. It only made sense to join the affiliate program.
What I Like Most About Bookshop.org’s Affiliate Program
I like that I have my own “store” online. I can make lists, easily link to the books I want to recommend, and share that “store” link with others.
My current virtual book “shelves” in my online store are:
Favorite Books About Writing & Creativity
Favorite Books of 2022 (So Far) — a list I update monthly
Mourning Pages: A Reading List (books I write about on Substack)
You can see what that bookstore looks like here.
Other features I find promising about this affiliate program:
Getting verified is quick — only took about 10 minutes
It’s user-friendly in terms of finding links, book descriptions, and other publication information (necessary if you’re writing about books)
Knowing I’m supporting authors and bookstores on a different level in addition to shopping via Bookshop
If you are buying books anytime soon, please consider supporting independent bookstores. And if you like purchasing online or you don’t have a favorite indie bookstore near you, Bookshop.org is a great option.
And if you’re looking for a few great new books to read, I can’t let you leave before I recommend some of my favorites.
These are books I reference frequently and they are definitely worth owning your own copy:
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
Refuse to Be Done by Matt Bell
Note: I am a Bookshop.org affiliate. If you purchase through my links to support independent bookstores, I may earn a small commission.
If you enjoy my writing and would like to join the conversation about all things books, writing, publishing (mixed in with grief and loss), find me over on Substack.