Each day brings uncertain news about the state of COVID-19, and self-isolation means independent bookstores are taking a hit.
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, and see the live results of how you are making a difference.
“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.
Try an audiobook from Libro.fm. We partner with over 900 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.
We have two offers to help support bookstores right now:
- When you start a membership with code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW, you’ll get two audiobooks for the price of one ($14.99), and 100% of your payment will go to your local bookstore. Start a membership
- You can purchase a one-month audiobook gift membership for $15 and 100% of your purchase will go to your bookstore. Gift a One-Month Membership
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. The best part? Bookstores keep 100% of every book sale.
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.
Tell Others to Buy Books
Are you an author, influencer, or just overall reading enthusiast? 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.
Have a platform? Consider using it to spread the word, like Bess Kalb:
If you work at a small, independent bookstore, you can reply to this tweet with your website or phone number and I’ll retweet you to spread the word about ordering books. As author events get cancelled, let’s make sure local bookshops don’t suffer the consequences. Solidarity.— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) March 12, 2020
Donate to BINC
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!
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.