How This All Works and What Started it in the First Place
Reader, I don't think I need to tell you it's a weird time to try selling stuff. It's a weird time to be trying to do anything, for that matter. Putting shoes on, for example. If you've made it to the blog you probably know that in late January we went into the used book business. Gosh, it was a good plan, and for a few glorious weeks, it all went accordingly. On March 12th we were driving home from a book shopping trip to El Paso, watching on my phone in the spots along I-10 with service, as the NBA cancelled their season, and states of emergencies were declared across the country. Things changed.
We didn't even stop at the store. Whether or not to remain open to the public during the perfect storm of spring break and a viral pandemic was not even a question. We closed. I miss the bus. Look, you'd miss it too.
Let me back up. All I've ever wanted to do is read science fiction and fantasy books. Sure, I am passionate about a variety of topics, but those tend to change. I crocheted every day for about a year and then put it down. Books, though, specifically the genres, that remained constant. The level of interest in my books is how I gauge my depression. Seriously, my psychiatrist asks.
We put a bookshop on a school bus! I've never had more fun. This is a dream come true, and I know how cliche that sounds, but it's true. Every book lover I know wants to be surrounded by their favorite objects. They're the ones who were more interested in the library than the prince. Those people are still out there, and I found them. I found them, then I gathered them into a group on Facebook and called it "Read Your Brains Out" because that's all I wanted to do. Things are more fun in a group, and we read, and continue to read, with the enthusiasm of youth. It's the best group on Facebook, you should join.
How to sell beat up old paperbacks during a scenario the likes of which have only been imagined in the pages of the very books in my inventory? The answer is simply, online. Duh.
Enter Bookshop.org and Libro.fm
Now we're at the part about how this all works. See? I told you in the title and we made it. I was worried too.
Since we are an infant store without an established brick-and-mortar location, we have access to affiliate links. These will be everywhere.
Did you touch that logo? If you did, it took you to our online new-book storefront. This is where you can order print and e-books from us! Well, that's not quite right. You wouldn't be ordering them from from us. Your order is being fulfilled by Ingram, the distributor for independent bookstores. Ingram's primary warehouse is in Indiana. They'll fulfill your order and ship it directly to you. Our store, as an affiliate, will earn a commission on any transaction completed when you click through our links. We do have lists of books promoted on our store page, but you can buy any book you want and still support us, or any store you want, really. It's a great alternative to Amazon during a time when people are needing books delivered because not only do individual booksellers earn a commission, a portion of your purchase also goes into a pool of funds that are distributed among participating booksellers quarterly. That was a lot of information. I hated that. I love run-on sentences, though.
In summary, our bookshop links get you new print books and e-books. They get us a small but steady stream of revenue, which we appreciate more than it is possible to express.
Audio-books have their own whole entire page on this website. We love a good audio-book. They are more popular than ever, with platforms like Audible from Amazon, dominating the industry. Libro.fm wants to change that, and we are here for it. We are nowhere near the only bookstore participating so you're free to support any participating store you choose! It works just like other apps you might be used to. You pay a monthly subscription fee (or not, you can buy books one at a time) and you get one credit and a discount on all audio-books. We participate, and we sure would appreciate the support.
This is how we're staying afloat during these, dare I say it, uncertain times. We are certain of one thing, though: people need stories. We have stories, we love stories, and we want to share stories with you. There's nothing wrong with a little escapism, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
I hope this all makes sense, I'm aware this doesn't look or seem like a typical bookstore website. We do have some fun things in store as we are definitely learning on the job over here. We'll be adding some of our physical inventory to deliver locally and ship nationally, so look for that. The blog is where I'll be sharing book lists, reviews, all heavily linked to our affiliate partners to make shopping simple, if you want. If you just want to read reviews and see themed lists then that is 100% ok too. We're just glad you're here!
Read Your Brains Out,