books-752657_1920Amazon makes it so easy to share links with book cover images and if you’re a Prime member there is an incentive to shop on Amazon. There is just one big problem. Books and Amazon.

When you purchase books from Amazon you get a deep discount and the publisher pays the author even less in copyright royalties. A percentage of pennies is a pittance and Amazon knows it. That’s why they keep selling books without making a profit. Books are their loss leaders and they make their money on selling your data and selling you other products online. Amazon’s profit margins come from the cloud. Big data. You are being bought by Amazon.

gift-1008897_1280As an (aspiring) author you may want to make more informed decisions with your dollars during the holiday book-buying season. When you shop at independently owned bookstore, you and other authors benefit in terms of your copyright royalties.

Author’s Guild currently has a Fair Contract Initiative in progress. This campaign includes an effort to eliminate the “deep discount” clauses publishers to booksellers and wholesalers at big markdowns. It seems fair that when a publisher sells a book at a deep discount, the author’s take might be reduced proportionally. But there’s no proportionality in many standard “deep discount” clauses.

When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:

protectdollarSpend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.

Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.

More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.

Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.

Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.

Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.

indieboundlogoMore independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

Now is the time to stand up and join your fellow individuals in the IndieBound mission supporting local businesses and celebrating independents. At Swenson Book Development LLC we support IndieBound.

3 thoughts on “Why shop Indie?

  1. Alas — the local bookstore went out of business this year. If I want to visit a bookstore, I have to drive to another town. That makes Amazon all the more tempting. I’d give anything to have that old bookstore back.

    • There are local indie bookstores which allow you to shop their stores online. Book People in Austin TX or Birchbark Books in Minneapolis for examples. And publishers sell directly from their websites, too. There is no replacement for a good local bookstore where you can browse, develop a relationship with a bookseller, and meet other readers and writers.

  2. I believe in shopping locally and supporting local businesses. We have a local bookshop in Duluth, and I like to get Christmas gifts there, but I confess that I sometimes purchase books from Amazon. The locally owned store is “The Bookstore at Ftiger’s”
    We had another locally owned bookstore in Canal Park and when they purchased my calendar in 2010, I directed out of town people to order online from them. That store is now closed.

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