Many of us writers have guiding principles when it comes to where we sell our work. Some of us only sell on Amazon because it is, quite often, the most effective platform for finding readings. Some of us sell “wide” so that our work goes into as many retailers as possible or because we don’t want our books all in one basket or we have ethical qualms with Amazon’s business model. Some of us do only ebooks. Some both ebook and print, and some have ventured into audio, too. All of us have our reasons for why we sell where we do.
Here is what I do: I sell everywhere because as much as I struggle with some of Amazon’s policies – and I do struggle – I sell more books there than I do anywhere else, and for me, getting my books into the hands of readers and being able to pay some (a small some) of my bills from book sales matters. But I also do my best to recommend other retailers, especially indie bookstores, because I believe in my heart of hearts that indie bookstores matters. I believe that so much that I wrote out my dream of owning one in my cozy mystery series.
Loving on Bookshop
Because I believe so wholeheartedly in indie bookstores and because I know that they are always struggling but are suffering profoundly now, I’ve decided to throw all the book recommendation love I can their way by setting up a Bookshop store* with recommendations of books I love. Bookshop gives 10% of all their proceeds to indie bookstores, and as of Tuesday morning, they have raised over $1 million for indie bookstores.
That alone is enough reason for me to get behind Bookshop, but I’m even more thrilled with the fact that they support book lovers of all sorts, me included, by giving anyone who signs up as an affiliate with them 10% of the proceeds as well. Thus, if you click on my shop and buy, I get 10% of your gross purchase price as a commission. As I know you know, those commissions are important in a world where some of us make less than $.25 per copy of the books we sell.
Buy or Recommend on Bookshop
I’m still building out my shop, but if you’re interested in shopping there, you can find my growing list of suggested writing books here. I also have lists for literary fiction, mysteries, magical realism and fantasy books, and books on racial justice. (You can find all those by clicking here.)
Or even better, set up your own shop and recommend books to the people you know. Help bookstores and get a commission, too. You can find all the information about how to set up your shop here.
However you publish your books and wherever you buy them, thank you. More than anything about the how or where of bookselling, I believe in books and stories, and I believe in writers. So thank you for doing what you do and for supporting the other writers you know in any way you can.
Over in this beautiful community of writers, we are having some amazing discussions about writing and mental health, about blogging and accountability, about our writing goals and the struggles we are working through in this pandemic. I’m so honored to know these writers and be a part of these important conversations.
In this community, we share weekly goals for our writing lives, we ask questions about resources or quandaries, we encourage one another, and we commiserate together when the writing life is hard. Plus, each Monday, I write a note just for the members of that community and inspired by our conversations there.
If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you. Membership is $2.99 a month, but if that’s a financial hardship for you, please let me know. I have one scholarship available from a generous member.
We’d love to see you there.