How Important is “Buy Local” for E-book Purchases?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By  Edward Nawotka

Today’s feature story covering the Spanish e-book market and the evolving battleground between overseas multinationals, like Amazon, and local booksellers, such as Casa del Libro.

In the United States, in particular, “buy local” campaigns have argued there are significant benefits to buying from local booksellers. This has been an especially strong movement in favor of independent booksellers in their fight against chain bookseller Barnes & Noble and online giant Amazon. The IndieBound campaign of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), argues there are several benefits to buying from a local store:

The Economy

  • Spend $100 at a local business and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.
  • Local businesses create higher paying jobs for our neighbors.
  • More of your taxes are reinvested in your community — where they belong.

    The Community

    • Local retailers are your friends, neighbors–support them and they’ll support you.
    • Local businesses donate to charities and events (especially local ones) at more than twice the rate of national chains.
    • More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

    So, how important is it for Europeans to consider the same factors when choosing from which stores they want to buy their e-books. In the US this year, the ABA thought e-book purchases was a significant enough factor that they partnered with Google to make e-books available through the websites of local booksellers.

    Considering the state of the European economy, should the Spaniards, Italians and Germans, who have all seen Amazon open e-bookstores in recent months, reserve their purchases for indigenous companies? It’s certain these local companies could use the support. And if, as IndieBound has proven, shopping locally has undeniable benefits to the local economy, should this be a consideration with customers before they make their purchases?

    Amazon has an undeniable pedigree and reputation for servicing customers, yet their commitment to developing jobs and returning money directly into the local overseas economy — and stimulate jobs — still remains to be seen.

    Let us know what you think in the comments.

    About the Author

    Edward Nawotka

    A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.