Tag: independent

Amazon Sends Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments’ Early by Mistake

Amazon preorders of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments have been shipped out to readers ahead of schedule. By mistake.

A handful of reviews appeared on NPRThe Washington Post, and The New York Times yesterday even though there was supposed to be a strict embargo on the novel before its September 10th release date. And some readers are rushing to Twitter and Instagram to show off the copies they’ve received early.




According to BBC, Penguin Random House claims:

In the US a very small number of copies of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments were distributed early due to a retailer error which has now been rectified.

We appreciate that readers have been waiting patiently, in some cases for more than thirty years, for the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling The Handmaid’s Tale. In order to ensure our readers around the world receive their copies on the same day, our global publication date remains Tuesday 10th September.

The small number of copies received by these lucky readers total around eight-hundred.

Though some Atwood fans may be celebrating that they could get their hands on The Testaments early, many independent booksellers are frustrated that Amazon seems to have ignored the embargo. The fact that readers have received copies ahead of schedule from Amazon can drastically impact an independent bookstore’s bottom line, especially when they rely on the rush of first-day sales to drive their business.



Lexi Beach, one such bookseller whose “world is crumbling around [her] right now,” took to Twitter to vent about Amazon’s brazen disregard  of the embargo.



Unfortunately, Beach is kind of right. Amazon’s business model is much different from your average independent bookseller’s. The online-shopping behemoth can afford to take a lot of losses on titles like The Testaments in a strategy to grow their customer base. Independent stores, on the other hand, often rely on the buzz huge titles like Atwood’s generate to drive business to their stores. And given that Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale has been shortlisted for The Booker Prize and is already on many best-selling lists based on preorders alone, the fact that Amazon can shamelessly violate the embargo all booksellers had to sign is made even more disheartening and terrifying.



Paul Swydan, owner of Silver Unicorn Books, also took to Twitter to express his frustration:



Penguin Random House released a statement regarding the incident. However, they didn’t address Amazon by name, preferring to keep things vague.



Understandably, the independent booksellers Amazon continues to undercut are still angry and worried Amazon won’t be held accountable. After all, what can you actually do to affect the site that controls roughly 50% of book sales in the world. Even a publisher the size of Penguin Random House can’t really afford to tarnish their relationship with Amazon. Beach noted in another tweet that PRH could delay shipments of future releases to Amazon to prevent them from capitalizing on first-day sales. That’s the typical way smaller booksellers are disciplined, but who knows if PRH will or even can use those methods with Amazon.



Featured image via My Office Magazine and Instagram: @damagedbutinvigorated

book tunnel

Do the Environment a Favor and Shop at an Indie Bookstore!

Do you have a favorite bookshop? No, Barnes and Noble doesn’t count. I mean an independent bookshop, small, cosy, possibly family run. Handmade signs and questionable color schemes. Sometimes dogs. The one where you can sit for hours, enjoying your unique surroundings, and forgetting about all your responsibilities and then end up feeling horribly guilty because you’ve neglected every other aspect of your life. You’ve been missing for days. Your family has called the cops. Your plants are withering. You have several hundred unanswered emails. You know, that bookshop.


guilty dog

You, feeling guilty | Via Giphy


Well, according to Indiebound, your hours spent there are actually very beneficial to the economy, the environment, and your community. So you can stop feeling bad, as the benefits, according to the Indiebound website, are pretty much endless.


happy dog

You, delighted that your time-wasting has been justified | Via Gif Finder 


In terms of the economy, if you spend $100 at a local-owned business, $68 of that stays in your community. However, if you spent the same amount at a national chain, only $43 will remain in your community. Local businesses also create higher-paying jobs for members of the community, and therefore more taxes are reinvested in the locality. Local businesses also donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains. Indiebound also points out that ‘more independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.’


Shopping local also has a positive effect on the environment as it means less packaging, less transportation and therefore a smaller carbon footprint. So you win points with Mother Nature too!


happy pizza dog

You, slobbering happily all over the news that your indie bookshop obsession is good for the economy, environment and community | Via Tenor



That’s all on top of the fact that local bookshops tend to put on wonderful, intimate author events such as Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, who host talks and readings every week! So make sure to follow any and all of your favorite indie spots on social media to keep up to date with what they’re up to!




Featured Image Via Publishing Perspectives

Cat in bookshop

7 Perfect Independent Bookstores from Across the Globe

If there’s one thing I love more than books it’s bookstores. And, if there’s one thing I love more than bookstores, it’s independent bookstores. Independent bookstores act as a sort of home. They’re the places you go when you want to get out of the house, but you also still want to sort of be alone.


And this is why it’s so very vital that we stand by, support, and shop at our independent bookstores. Our independent bookstores are small business that are constantly being threatened by the bigger, fortune 500 corporations; it’s up to us to keep ensuring that the corporations don’t win and that the independent stores are able to stay in business.


So, pop into your local indie bookshop this week and pick up that novel you’ve been dying to read!


And, check out these seven super-rad independent bookstores from all across the globe; who knows, maybe you’ll see your local shop on the list?


Housing Works – NYC


Housing Works

Image Via Boo York City


Housing Works is a beautiful place because, on top of offering every book under the sun within their shop, they are also an organization that helps provide housing, healthcare, and treatment to those affected with HIV/AIDS. (You can also rent out the bookstore for your wedding!)


Daunt Books – London


Daunt Books

Image Via Voyage Collective

This breathtaking shop opened in 1990 with one objective in mind; organize books by country rather than genre, so the reader can walk through the shop all the while traveling the world.


Women & Children First – Chicago


Women & Children First

Image Via Afar


This friendly feminist bookshop opened in 1979 and specializes in books by female-identifying and LGBTQ+ authors in all forms. They are one of the largest feminist bookstores in the world, containing more than 30,000 books!


The Book Lounge – Cape Town, South Africa


The Book Lounge

Image Via Your Local Book Shelf


This incredible little shop opened in 2007 and contains the most unique, eclectic selection of books. They also host story time every Saturday morning!


Leaping Windows – Mumbai, India


Leaping Windows

Image Via Homegrown


Leaping Windows was born of the idea to connect comic book lovers with all the books their hearts could possibly desire. They believe in the connection books cause between fellow readers, the power of imagination, and the ability to create a space for all to feel welcome.


Type Books – Toronto, Ontario


Type Books

Image Via Type Books


This adorable little shop believes in the written word, hosts events for authors and artists, and offers a wide variety of books under all genres. Check out their insanely beautifully curated window displays!


Flow Books – Hong Kong


Flow Books

Image via Hong Kong Free Press


This book shop opened in 1997 and, in the past twenty-one years, have seen more than half-a-million books flow through! 







Featured Image via The Book Man


UK Bookstore Chain Is Opening New Locations Pretending to Be Independent Bookstores

For the past four years, UK bookstore chain Waterstones has been opening up shops without disclosing that the shops were under the chain. For example, Waterstones, the Barnes & Noble of the UK, opened up a store in Southwold, naming it Southwold Books. There was no indication that the store was owned by Waterstones except for the small, handwritten sign in the window, “Southwold Books is the trading name of Waterstones Booksellers Ltd.”


Independent bookstores like Stockbridge’s Golden Hare Books have been directly impacted by the chain’s expansion. The owners accused the company of breaking the pledge they made to not compete with independent bookstores. The store took to Twitter to express the importance of independent bookstores and the support of their patrons. 



After the accusation, Waterstones decided against opening up another store in Stockbridge. Waterstones CEO James Daunt wrote in a statement “Independent book shops have their place. It’s big chains like Waterstones who need to be responsible.” 


Following the overruling of opening another Waterstones in Stockbridge, readers took to Twitter to rejoice and celebrate their favorite independent bookstore. 




Golden Hare was empathetic, despite the near death of their shop. 



Let this be a lesson to everyone that independent bookstores are not to be messed with. 


Featured Image Via Slate Magazine.  

Antiquarian books

Welcome to Hobart, Where There’s One Bookstore for Every 100 Residents

Two hours from New York City there is a town of 500 people with five bookstores. That means there’s one bookstore per 100 people. The town is called Hobart.


As Atlas Obscura reports, the story of Hobart begins with Diana and Bill Adams, a lawyer and physician, respectively, from Manhattan. They passed through Hobart on a trip through the Catskills when they came across a cornershop up for rent. They went in and asked the owner about it and rented the space on the spot. Thus began Hobart’s journey as a book village.



Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Books. | Image Via Atlas Obscura


The Adams’ store, Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Books, stocks antique books, as Bill developed a fascination with Greek texts. The other bookstores that populate the town have specialties as well. Blenheim Hill Books, owned by couple Barbara Balliet and Cheryl Clarke, has a wide selection of feminists and African-American studies books, for example. Balliet, a professor of Women’s Studies at Rutgers University, and Clarke, a poet and author, collected a stockpile of books by the time they were ready to retire, many of which now reside in Blenheim Hill Books. As does a little dog.


Blenheim Books

Barbara Balliet, Cheryl Clarke, and the cute dog in Blenheim Hill Books. | Image Via Atlas Obscura


Though it’s a mystery how a small town of less than 500 people can sustain five independent bookstores, it seems to be working out for them. One Hobart bookstore owner, Don Dales, hypothesizes that the bookstores don’t actually survive on competition, but coexistence. They bounce between the bookstores, filling up their bags. It doesn’t hurt that each bookstore has its own specialty also.


The idea of the book village has been around since 1961, when the first was founded in  Hay-on-Wye, Wales by Richard Booth. Since, book villages have sprung up across the world, including in South Korea, New Zealand, and Malaysia. I hope you have the necessary funds to buy homes in all of these places. I also hope all this attention on Hobart does not now ruin it. Maybe the answer is to start our own book village. Who’s down?


Feature Image Via Atlas Obscura