A POPULAR bookshop in York has received a financial lifeline from a website which has generated £1m profit in four months.

The Blue House Bookshop in Bootham is one of the 410 independent book retailers to share in the profit from www.Bookshop.org.

The website enables consumers to financially support independent bookshops when shopping online.

At a time when the majority of the UK’s bookshops have been forced to close their physical stores due to lockdown restrictions, book-buyers have lent their support by using the platform.

The Blue House Bookshop joined Bookshop.org in November 2020 and has a shopfront on the website which has helped it get through two lockdowns to sell its range of children’s books.

As of February 4, 2021, 82 per cent of sales on Bookshop were generated by titles selling up to four copies each, and 54 per cent from titles selling a single copy of a book.

The platform helps draw attention to books beyond bestseller lists and celebrates diversity within publishing.

Karen Walker, of The Blue House Bookshop, said the partnership with Bookshop.org had provided her with a stream of income as others had dried up during lockdown.

“It’s helped us get through tough times and given us a wider catchment of people whom we can help get their children the perfect book."

Karen who first opened the shop in October 2019 also offered a 'book a browse' for people to enjoy sole use of the shop in the evenings, following the first lockdown last June. The shop has also been doing home deliveries since Karen launched a website in lockdown.

Bookshop.org ensures independent bookshops receive 30 per cent of the cover price from each sale they generate on the platform.

Meanwhile, 10 per cent from any sale not attributed to a specific bookshop goes into the shared profit pool.

In addition, a number of publishers have chosen to forego their 10 per cent affiliate commission and opted for it to go into the shared profit pool, to be split equally by independent bookshops using the site.

Booksellers say the additional income from Bookshop has allowed many to avoid furloughing staff, pay Christmas bonuses, strengthen their online presence to better compete online, and even open new stores.

Nicole Vanderbilt, managing director at Bookshop UK, said: “Bookshop.org’s mission is to support the independent bookselling sector in the UK, and it is deeply gratifying to have reached this significant milestone in such a short time, and to hear the individual stories of success from bookshops using the site to sell books.

"Book buyers have made it clear that they believe in online shopping that gives back to local communities.”