Better World Books
Takes A Page From Toms Shoes' "One For One" Playbook
The book recycler and reseller has
already given away $10 million to help improve literacy. Now it's giving away a
book every time you buy one.
Better World Books
bookseller that calls itself "the
online bookstore with a soul," announced an initiative this week to donate
a book to the company's non-profit literacy partners--Feed the Children and
Books for Africa--every time a book is purchased on their website. Books for
Africa will receive used textbooks, while Feed the Children will (obviously)
get children's books.
familiar? That's because the "Book for Book" initiative is similar to
Toms Shoes' "One for One" initiative, which gives a pair of shoes to
a child in need every time a pair is purchased. The model has been so
successful that Toms is now using it with its sunglasses line
(but giving away glasses
and eye surgery to the needy instead of sunglasses). "Who wouldn't be
inspired by what Toms Shoes is doing? Anybody who hears that story, you look
for ways that you too can make an impact beyond what you're already
doing," says Andy Perlmutter, CEO of Better World Books.
you may surmise from its name, this isn't Better World Books' only charitable
endeavor. The bookseller's entire business model is based on helping the
down-and-out: the company collects books that colleges and libraries are going
to throw out, sells them, and sets aside part of each book sale to give back to
its literacy partners. It's a model that offers affordable books and textbooks
to customers, supports literacy, and keeps perfectly usable books out of the
for-profit model is clearly working. Better World Books has raised nearly $10
million for its nonprofits and reused or recycled over 57 million books since
its inception in 2003--all while making money for the company, which has
ballooned to having nearly 400 employees (it started out with just two Notre
Dame graduates). "Now that we're approaching the milestone of having
donated $10 million back to our nonprofit and literacy partners, we thought it
was about time that we made that long-term commitment [with Book for
Book]," says Perlmutter.
Better World Books and Toms now using the buy-one-give-one model, we have to
wonder: who's next?
New Economics are Rewriting the Book
Although at least 80%
of all books purchased are still physical copies, the sale of ebooks continues
to put a dent in the market. With publishers trying to balance print and
digital, prints runs are slimmed down, advances reduced and costs cut. The big
question today is what to plan with the volume of physical sales
decreasing. Read on!
The economics of the book business are changing so rapidly
the industry barely looks like it did just six months ago.
The era of the book superstores, with their big windows and
welcoming tables stacked high with books, has gone into decline. Many of the
country's most enthusiastic readers have already switched to less-costly
digital books. Amazon customers now buy more Kindle titles than hardcovers and
paperbacks. Click on this link for the whole article: The
Wall Street Journal