The past few years have been rocky for Chris Doeblin, owner and cofounder of Book Culture, four beloved independent bookstores in New York City. “Before Amazon we had a viable company. I made a decent living in New York City. We bought an apartment,” he says. “Twenty-five years later I’m on the verge of bankruptcy. Our stores can go out of business any minute.”
The website is already up, perhaps as a teaser or a priming-the-pump-before-launch kind of thing at https://comingsoon.bookshop.org/signup
I hope these folks can make their plan work because Amazon, while it has provided a service to indie authors who can’t get their books into bricks and mortar stores, has become a big problem: a monopoly.
I link my books to other online sites as often as possible, but I think people just read the books’ descriptions and then go buy them at Amazon. (I do appreciate the people who buy them.) But we need alternatives in addition to Powell’s, B&N.com, and even IndieBound.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed about this venture.