Indie bookstores under pressure from online retailers, e-books and traditional competition from large retail chains may have just been thrown lifeline.
A Canadian firm called Enthrill will be helping 102 stores in the Canadian province of Alberta sell e-books through gift cards, reports the Calgary Herald.
According to the company, the gift cards are file and device agnostic. Once purchasing and activating a card for an e-book in the store, the user can select which file format and device they want the e-book to be downloaded to.
The program will be piloted at retail stores Canada Safeway, Sobeys, Co-op and Mac’s but one can imagine how useful they could be to indie bookstores looking to break into selling e-books alongside p-books. Owl’s Next books in Calgary is one such participating store, according to the report.
Of course, if successful, this type of program could be another distribution channel for publishers to sell and market their e-books.
Currently, Enthrill is only carrying about two-dozen titles, but the list will grow daily, according to the Calgary Herald.