How to compete with Amazon is a question the publishing industry has been asking longer than most. Jeff Bezos started selling books from his garage in 1995; by 2019 Amazon accounted for over half of US book sales and three quarters of e-books, according to Benedict Evans, an independent analyst.
For independent bookstores the task of taking on the behemoth is daunting to say the least. Many are privately-run small businesses, without access to the space or digital skills required to maintain an e-commerce operation. But one former writer is trying to tip the scales back in their favour.
Andy Hunter set up the American online profit-sharing platform Bookshop.org in January 2020. By June 2020 it was already selling $1m worth of books a day in the US.