Indie bookstores have enjoyed a resurgence in book sales over the course of the past year. According to the American Booksellers Association, the number of member independent bookstores has increased more than 20% since e-readers took the world by storm. There were 1,651 in 2009 and this figure jumped dramatically to 2,094 in 2014. These days, indie bookstores don’t just sell print books, but e-book as well, and it is a losing proposition.
Independent bookstores first started selling e-books in 2010 when the American Booksellers Association partnered with Google. This arrangement did not last very long because people needed a smartphone or tablet with Google Play Services, and during this time period many companies did not offer devices with this particular framework. In 2012 the ABA pivoted and signed a new three year deal with Kobo. Bookstores would earn a commission on e-reader sales and also any books that were purchased on the device.