Created by Booksellers NZ and CircleSoft, BookHub is an online collaboration with Aotearoa’s independent bookstores (the first of its kind in the English-speaking world)! Launched on National Bookshop Day (7th October), Bookhub lets readers browse and purchase books from over 70 bookstores around the nation—all on one website. Supporting local bookshops and communities just got a whole lot easier!
The Sapling co-founder Sarah Forster shares her thoughts on the new platform.
Back in 2013, when I worked at Booksellers NZ as their Web Editor, then CEO Lincoln Gould had an idea for an app, to help people find their nearest member bookshop. I did a bit of research, established it was insanely expensive, and dropped the idea.
So I was quite honestly beside myself when I discovered last week that they’d bloody well gone and done it! Well, kinda. BookHub isn’t an app, but it does tell you where your nearest bookshop is—and better yet, what books it has in stock!
Over 70 independent bookshops in Aotearoa have allowed Booksellers NZ to pull their online shop inventory into BookHub NZ, allowing our readers better access than ever to books available locally. Readers then have the option of taking to the streets and discovering their local bookshop, or linking through to the bookshop’s online sales portal to purchase a book.
BookHub isn’t an app, but it does tell you where your nearest bookshop is—and better yet, what books it has in stock!
“We’re proud to have developed the only website in the English-speaking world that offers book buyers access to the inventory of independent bookstores nationwide, all in one place,” says Tony Moores, who was the project manager that brought BookHub to fruition. Tony is the owner of Poppies Howick and New Plymouth and has been a bookseller for over 40 years.
“The development of BookHub has taken more than two years of planning and technical development to get the independent bookstores’ point-of-sale (POS) systems to talk to one another. While the system is built in CircleSoft, we developed a shadow site to ensure our booksellers with other POS systems didn’t miss out,” says Tony.
“We’re proud to have developed the only website in the English-speaking world that offers book buyers access to the inventory of independent bookstores nationwide, all in one place.”Tony Moores, Project Manager, Bookhub
The site reflects stock movements in each connected corner in real time—Tony says this was the most difficult part of the project, particularly for those stores who used other POS systems. For customers, that means that when a book shows up as in stock, you know it is there—and you can click and collect or buy online.
BookHub has approximately one million unique ISBNs (titles) on the site, and 30 percent of those titles are children’s books, says Tony. That’s over 300,000 children’s books!
“The response from booksellers, industry partners, and affiliates has been overwhelmingly positive. Booksellers have long been looking for a way to keep Kiwi booklovers shopping locally, and BookHub provides the perfect solution.”
“Booksellers have long been looking for a way to keep Kiwi booklovers shopping locally, and BookHub provides the perfect solution.”Tony Moores, Project Manager, Bookhub
For busy parents, this is particularly valuable, notes Tony. “BookHub means they can go online from home and buy the books they want from their tamariki, while still supporting their local booksellers.”
The Sapling will be using BookHub links for our buy links in the future, to enable you to support your favourite indie bookshop while buying your favourite books by authors from Aotearoa.
Click here to browse the 1,000,000+ titles available on BookHub today.
Sarah Forster has worked in the New Zealand book industry for 15 years, in roles promoting Aotearoa’s best authors and books. She has a Diploma in Publishing from Whitireia Polytechnic, and a BA (Hons) in History and Philosophy from the University of Otago. She was born in Winton, grew up in Westport, and lives in Wellington. She was a judge of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2017. Her day job is as a Senior Communications Advisor—Content for Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.