logobigPenguin Random House UK introduced a new platform for readers in what looks like an attempt to shift the retail marketplace.

My Independent Bookstore launched on Monday for private beta testing and is available by invite-only right now. The platform will allow users to display 12 books in a virtual bookshop. They can share, review and recommend books while My Independent Bookstore will be integrated with Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

The difference between this platform and others is that Penguin Random House UK is supporting independent bookstores with this measure. People can buy books through the virtual shops through hive.co.uk, the ecommerce arm of Gardners wholesalers, which is connected with hundreds of independent bookshops across the UK.

From the press release:

As part of the registration process, ‘My Independent Bookshop’ users can choose their favourite real-world independent bookshop to connect with. Hive will then pass a commission from any purchase made through the website to their chosen shop.

The move seems to be aimed to offset the hold Amazon has on the online marketplace. This could give independent bookshops an advantage in making money through online sales – while having others work for you. It seems the bookshops don’t have to do much other than ensure they could be linked to on My Independent Bookstore.

Users won’t be forgotten. They can earn rewards with a chance to meet authors, have access to early titles, and get tickets to book events.


  1. I wonder how much work this really saves an independent book seller from just posting an Amazon Marketplace page that sells their books? No limit to only 12 there.

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