Online bookseller will begin selling e-books by the end of the year. It will also publish its first book, Our Strangers by Lydia Davis, in October.

According to Andy Hunter, founder and CEO of, the initial rollout will enable users to buy and read e-books in their web browser. The program will launch in Beta late this year. An e-reader app is also being developed and will be launched sometime thereafter.

"We are building the platform entirely from scratch," said Hunter. "We want to give independent bookstores a way to sell e-books and capture those sales that they are losing to Amazon," Hunter told PW during an interview at the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in Seattle. already has strong ties with the independent bookselling community. Beginning March 1,, the ABA's consumer-facing online bookselling and marketing platform, will switch to using to handle sales and fulfillment. All buy buttons on bookstores' sites or affiliated sites using IndieBound links will switch to links.

During a presentation at Winter Institute, Hunter told an audience of booksellers that they had a significant way to go in recapturing their rightful share of online sales that were long ago ceded to Amazon. "I estimate that online sales for independent bookstores, including those that are on, IndieBound, Shopify, and other platforms, amount to $100 million a year," he said. "Amazon's online sales account for about $4-$5 billion. If you consider that independent bookstores account for approximately 10% of the book market, then their fair share of online sales should be $500 million a year."

Hunter conceded that it was going to take more effort and a greater commitment on behalf of independent booksellers to make this happen. "We did a survey that determined about 20 million book buyers had heard of, which when you consider that the United States has some 350 million people, means we have a way to go."

One of the biggest challenges facing Bookshop's growth may simply be apathy, as many booksellers and publishers who created stores on after it launched in 2020 have failed to engage with it further and have not updated their pages. "I think we may be a victim of our own success," said Hunter. "Because it is so easy to use and automatic, [booksellers] don't think to interact with it."

Asked how aims to claw more market share from Amazon, Hunter said awareness and discovery tools are the key. "Our bestseller lists are eclectic and diverse and are a great sales tool, much like our personal recommendations lists."

Anti-Amazon publishing is also becoming a publisher. Its first book will be a hardcover print edition of Our Strangers, a collection of short fiction by Lydia Davis. The book will be published in October with an initial print run of 10,000 copies and will be available only through independent bookstores and online at

"Lydia told her agent [Denise Shannon] that she didn't want her new book to be sold on Amazon," said Hunter. Shannon "shopped the book around, but everyone told her it wasn't possible for them to publish the book and not also sell it on Amazon. So [Shannon] came to us and asked if it could be done. Working with Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and others, we decided we could keep the book off of Amazon, so we decided to publish the book."

Hunter founded a publishing house, Catapult in 2015, which which he ran alongside Counterpoint, and Soft Skull publishing houses until last year. With his publishing background, Hunter was able to rush ARCs of Our Strangers into print in time for Winter Institute. "We wanted booksellers to have copies on hand to read."

Hunter noted that Davis's last book had sold well, so publishing the book was a calculated risk. "Of course, we know we will lose sales from Amazon, but I'm confident Lydia Davis's fans will have no problem finding her book," Hunter said. "It will give them a reason to shop at an independent bookstore." has not yet signed another book, but Hunter is open to working with other authors. "They just have to be willing to opt out of potential sales from Amazon," he said.