The CEO of Powell’s Books, Emily Powell, has made it crystal clear that Powell’s Books is cutting all ties with Amazon due to its “detrimental impact … on our communities and the independent bookselling world.”
Powell’s Books has a four locations and more warehouses and book sources nationally and internationally, but it looks like the owner is completely aware and quite tired of how Amazon has had a negative impact on independent booksellers.
So now the question is, should more independent booksellers turn away from Amazon and promote themselves locally much more in order to remain alive and show their importance, especially during the COVID crisis and the recovery?
Right now, many bookstores sell their books on Amazon, like Powell’s Books used to do. The sales made on Amazon end up paying Amazon a cut, and not only does Amazon get a cut, that means that the independent bookstore loses money and possibly even brick and mortar customers.
This much change because there must be a balance. Selling books online should be a plus, a great addition to customers, but since it has turned into an Amazon take over, independent bookstores must begin to bring customers in by finding and fulfilling other needs in the communities.
Besides, this is what makes the world go round. Progression. Changing with the times. Could it be that independent bookstores need to figure out what Amazon doesn’t know about their own communities and begin to network with community members?
It looks like this is why Amazon is winning – convenience and it’s a one stop shop.
There is a huge need for independent bookstores around the globe, and Amazon is the wolf ready to eat. That being stated, it is time for independent bookstores to be innovative. Don’t simply remove books from Amazon, which may or may not help the cause, but become innovative.
It’s time for the independent bookstore to rise to a new level, find out what their communities need, how they as bookstores can help the community with literacy and more than solely books. Partner with other business owners in the community. This change will more than likely bring the needed patrons and attention back to the corner bookstore for true face-to-face community connections and more books.
Written by Mirika Mayo Cornelius, author and entrepreneur