Bookshop.org, the new online bookselling platform designed to support independent bookstores, officially launched at the end of January. The platform offers a solution to stores with no or limited e-commerce, and creates a feasible affiliate alternative to Amazon for book-oriented websites.
One of the most common questions at the Bookshop.org webinar SIBA hosted in December was whether or not Bookshop would work with SIBA's own banner-for-dues program, Circle of Sites. SIBA has worked with Bookshop.org to make the banner-for-dues program compatible with Bookshop. As of February 1, stores using bookshop.org can receive free SIBA membership by participating in the program.
What is Circle of Sites?
Also known as "the banner-for-dues program," COS allows SIBA to place a banner on bookstore websites. The banner is controlled by SIBA and paid for by publisher advertising partners. Advertised books are always in print and available at industry standard terms. The banner always clicks through to the hosting store's own e-commerce for purchase. As long as the banner is active, the bookstore's SIBA membership is considered current.
How does Circle of Sites work with Bookshop.org?
One of the requirements of COS is that browsers can click on the banner to buy the book. If a store is using bookshop.org for their e-commerce, then the banner will click through to bookshop.org using their affiliate account, and the sale will be credited to the store.
Bookshop.org is a viable option for stores that want to participate in Circle of Sites and either have no e-commerce (such as stores left without an alternative when Baker & Taylor discontinued My Books and More), or have limited e-commerce -- stores using Square or other shopping cart platforms not linked to a books in print database.
How do you sign up?
1) Sign up to be a Bookshop.org affiliate. Regular affiliates earn 10% of any sales they generate. Bookstore affiliates earn 25%. Your store must be a member of the ABA to be a Bookstore affiliate. To sign up, contact Sarah High at email@example.com
Bookstore One Sheet | Become a Bookshop Affiliate
2) Once you have your affiliate account, contact Nicki Leone at firstname.lastname@example.org for your banner. You will need to have your Bookshop affiliate ID available. SIBA will generate banner code specific to your store, which you can add to your website.
Once these two steps are done, you are effectively a member of SIBA forever!