In the latest development involving bookstore partnerships for e-books and downloadable audiobooks, the American Booksellers Association is investing $200,000 in a Bookshop.org feature that will allow indie bookstore customers "to click a link on an indie bookstore's e-commerce site to connect with Bookshop and make an e-book purchase," according to Bookselling This Week.
This feature is expected to launch in 2024 and is "similar to the way Libro.fm works for indie bookstores who offer audiobooks." Under the ABA/Bookshop model, bookstores will earn 30% of the retail price, similar to what stores earn on e-book purchases when customers buy from Bookshop through store partners. Last month, the ABA changed all buy buttons on IndieBound--its consumer-facing marketing platform--and affiliated sites to link with Bookshop.
The ABA was involved in the founding of Bookshop and owns 3.5% of the organization. Bookshop's seven-member board of directors always includes three indie booksellers, and Bookshop has an advisory board of 19 indie booksellers.
The move follows announcements a month ago that Bookshop.org plans to add audiobooks and e-books to its offerings in the U.K. as well as develop a mobile app for customers, allowing U.K. indie booksellers to offer those products for the first time. The organization is planning to launch a private beta version of the service in late 2023, followed by a full launch in 2024. More than 550 independent booksellers in the U.K. use Bookshop.
In addition, Libro.fm announced plans to launch in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand in July, beginning with an invitation to booksellers in those countries to register as well as join its Audiobook Listening Copy (ALC) program. The ALC program gives booksellers upcoming and new audiobooks to listen to for free on Libro.fm in advance of the international launch. More than 80% of Libro.fm partner bookstore revenue comes from monthly memberships, though customers can also purchase individual audiobooks.
In the U.S., Bookshop partners with Libro.fm to offer audiobooks.