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9 Ways to Support Your Independent Bookstore During Coronavirus

Each day brings uncertain news about the state of COVID-19, and physical distancing and closures means independent bookstores are in a state of flux.

We’ve been hearing the same question over and over from our community: How can I support my independent bookstore and booksellers?

Read on for some key things you can do today to help make an impact.

“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.”

Jen Campbell

Buy a Book (or Two, or Three…)

This one is obvious, but still must be said: Buy a book! Buy multiple books! Order online or call your bookstore and have them ship to you.

Audiobooks

Try an audiobook from Libro.fm. We partner with over 950 bookstores in the U.S. and Canada, and your purchase directly supports your chosen bookstore. You can become a member, or buy audiobooks à la carte—either way, your purchase benefits your independent bookstore.

Find a Bookstore to Support

Know the book you’re looking for but don’t have a bookstore in mind? Bookstore Link connects readers to local, independent bookstores for online print book purchases.

Simply type in the book you want and then pick your bookstore—Bookstore Link will connect you to their online shop to make the purchase.

Neil Gaiman

Tell Others to Buy Books

Are you an author, influencer, or just overall reading enthusiast? We know that people want to support their local bookstores, but the reality is that most book links send readers directly to Amazon. .

Instead, use Bookstore Link to generate a link for online sharing so your fans will be directed to shop from their independent bookstore. Learn more about how to use Bookstore Link here.

Social Media and Newsletters

Follow your independent bookstore on social media. Like and respond to their posts, and share their posts and website with your followers.

Sign up for their email newsletters, open them, and read them. They will likely be sending out updates on their shop for the next few weeks.

Thank your booksellers. Ask them what you can do to help. Make them feel appreciated, seen, and heard.

Donate to BINC

BINC—short for Book Industry Charity Foundation—is a nonprofit that assists bookstore employees and comic retailers facing financial hardship. Donate here.

Pre-Order Books

You already know you want to read them, so why not purchase them now? Pre-orders help keep your bookstore afloat, and you’ll have your hands on the book the day it comes out. You can pre-order audiobooks, too!

indie bookstore

Gift Cards

Is your TBR list seriously out of control? Consider purchasing gift cards from your independent bookstore for friends and family—surprise them with one now (they probably could use a distraction), or save it for their birthday, a special event, and even the holidays.

Same goes for gifting audiobooks from Libro.fm.

When in Doubt, Ask

Want to get more involved? Call, email, or message your independent bookstore and ask what else you can do to help.

Have any more ideas? Comment below.

Jenna Homen works on all things related to social media and the Libro.fm community. When not reading and listening to books, she can be found painting, drawing, going to museums, and enjoying the Los Angeles sunshine.

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9 Ways to Support Your Independent Bookstore During Coronavirus

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