If you are part of the UK book community then your social media will have been filled over the past few days with posts about a new online bookstore, cunningly called “Bookstore”, and touted as a rival to Amazon. They launched today, complete with a big article in the Guardian explaining how they support UK bookstores. Lots of people are encouraging you to buy from them, and some have even suggested that you might be a scab if you still have links to Amazon. Well, here’s a publisher view.
The first thing to note is that they are not a replacement for Amazon because they only sell paper books. Wizard’s Tower was founded as an ebook company, and the majority of our sales are still ebooks. The majority of those are through Amazon. I do try to encourage Kindle owners to buy direct from us, but most won’t do so because we can’t offer direct download, and in any case I’ll probably have to close the bookstore in January because of Brexit. So I am not going to stop linking to Amazon from Wizard’s Tower.
Secondly these folks are UK only. Apparently they have a US website as well, but I think I need to spoof a US location before I can look at that. This is the internet. I have readers and customers all over the world. So while I am keen to support UK boosktores, I will have readers and customers who will need to buy elsewhere.
The final issue is making sure that the books are listed. I started by doing a search for Juliet and it only came up with some of her books, but if you search for books by title I think they are all there. I will get on with putting up links to the books on the Wizard’s Tower website. I will also check out the US site. Because we are a Print-on-Demand company, they will put up warning messages about titles being out of stock, but that just means it will take them a few days to get the book to you. I’ll look into signing up as an affiliate, as they have a very good commission rate (10%), and they also donate 10% of the cover price to a fund to support UK bookstores. That’s a good thing.