AN independent bookstore celebrates the first anniversary of a revolutionary online sales site.
Rossiter Books of High Street, Ross-on-Wye, is one of nearly 500 bookstores to benefit from sales of Â£ 1.7million in the past 12 difficult months on Bookshop.org.
Founded by husband and wife team Andy and Victoria Rossiter in Ross in 2010, the business has grown to include bookstores in Monmouth and Leominster.
But with reduced footfall during the lockdown and pandemic, they joined the new Bookshop.org initiative last year, an “ethical alternative” to Amazon that generates money for independent booksellers and boosts their community.
Bookshop.org marked the anniversary with a bang on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, urging customers to stop “sending your money into space and start sending it to the independent bookstores we all love.” .
And Rossiter Events Manager Carol Bloomfield said: âAt Rossiter Books, we were thrilled to be a part of this new book selling adventure from the get-go.
âBeing able to continue serving our customers and providing them with books during the lockdown has made a huge difference to us – financially of course, but also because selling books is what we love to do.
âBeyond locking, Bookshop.org has given us new ways to share our passion for books through the individually curated lists that we love to create and share.â
She added: âIt’s a new way to discover books and buy online, and offers an ethical alternative to Amazon while supporting independent bookstores.
âAll three stores are open and shopping directly with us will always be our first preference.
If you want signed copies, you can only buy them directly from us.
âBut if you would like other books sent to you, we prefer that you visit our storefront at Bookshop.org as we will benefit from receiving 30% of the MSRP of what you order.
“Bookshop.org sends the books to you directly.”
Designed to donate the majority of its profits to independent booksellers and to “empower socially conscious buyers to financially support bookstores when they buy books online”, Bookshop.org claims it offers the most effective alternative. ethical and most convenient at Amazon.
With a stock of more than four million titles, delivery times of two to three days, carbon neutral shipping on all deliveries and their taxes duly paid, Bookshop.org claims to have “revolutionized the online book market and edition over the past year. the industry for good “.
In addition to providing a huge range of books for customers looking to support independent bookstores, Bookshop.org has a curated offering of book recommendations from booksellers and authors including Elena Ferrante, Marian Keyes, Kate Mosse and Jay Rayner.
He also regularly hosts virtual events for clients of independent bookstores, such as a 1,000 attendee event with Kazuo Ishiguro and upcoming events with Ann Patchett and Yotam Ottolenghi.
Nicole Vanderbilt, Managing Director of Bookshop.org UK, said: âWe are delighted and incredibly grateful for the response we have received from readers, bookstores, affiliates and the publishing industry at large.
âHowever, this is really just the start of what we think we can do together to reshape the industry so that independent bookstores get a bigger share of the increasingly online book market.
“We want to live in a world in which independent bookstores thrive – bookstores who are pillars of the community, owners who dedicate their heart and soul to making their main streets a better place, bookstores who read and react to books before putting them with confidence in the hands of a reader.
“We encourage readers to visit these bookstores as much as they can, but when they can’t, our role is to provide an easy, convenient and ethical way to buy books online while supporting these amazing bookstores. .
“Our message to readers: stop sending your money to space and start sending it to the independent bookstores we all love. There really is a better way to buy books online.”
The platform’s Independent Champions List rewards each month the books that have generated the most money for bookstores.
To mark the anniversary of the website’s launch, Rossiter Books shared the headlines that have helped them through Bookshop.org since joining in November 2020.
For more details, visit uk.bookshop.org/shop/rossiterbooks and rossiterbooks.co.uk