Independent Bookstore, Left Bank Books, Seattle, Washington

When I made the switch from a free blog to a hosted blog I set a goal of earning enough to recoup the hosting fee (about $100/year). So I signed up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and started adding links in blog posts so you could buy books and read along with me. (For the record, I’ve made exactly $0 with this blog so far.) Something didn’t feel right though. I love independent bookstores. I even have a couple posts about them. Therefore asking you to purchase your books from Amazon felt wrong. I’d rather you shop responsibly and support your local indie bookstores. I wrestled with the “bloggers gotta pay her hosting fees” vs. “please support mom and pop shops” until recently- I found Indie Bound.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit
Support Independent Bookstores – Visit (affiliate link)

Indie Bound is a community of independent local bookstores. The website allows you to search for a book, input your zip code, and it will direct you to the website of your closest indie book seller. If you purchase from a local indie shop, the money will go back into your community.

Unfortunately all of the collaborating bookstores are members of the American Booksellers Association, so for those of you outside America, sorry. But wait! There’s a second option to purchase books directly through the Indie Bound website. In this case, the sale will support the entire Indie Bound network. So you can still benefit small local businesses.

-Oh, and if you make a purchase through one of the links on this site, I’ll make a few cents at no extra cost to you!

Indie Bookstore Left Banks Books, Seattle, Washington
Indie Bookstore Left Banks Books, Seattle, Washington

The switch to Indie Bound will not eliminate Amazon links from this site entirely, however. Occasionally there will be books, like L. M. Montgomery’s Selected Journals (mentioned in this post), which are too obscure to be available through Indie Bound, in which case I will provide an Amazon link. I’ll also use Amazon for non-book items, like the Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II (see this post).

Also, I love my Amazon Audible account. I get through a lot of books these days via Audible during my daily commutes. It’s how I got through several of the TravelCon speakers’ books. Due to the credit system, all I pay is $14/month. You get one credit a month and the credits roll over if you don’t use them. Also, if you don’t like the book you can return it and get your credit back! So I’ve never had to pay for a book without using a credit. If you’re a busy person that can multi-task, I highly recommend Audible. You’ll be getting through your To-Be-Read pile in no time. (Try a 30-day free trial!)

Overall, however, I am determined to promote socially responsible shopping on this website if and when I can. This will extend to any travel clothing and accessories I may promote in the future.

Independent Bookstore Sundial Books, Chincoteague, Virginia
Independent Bookstore Sundial Books, Chincoteague, Virginia

For example, the Life is Good company not only makes clothes I use for travel and will happily promote, because they’re so freakin’ comfortable, but also

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit
Purchase Life is Good: The Book from Indie Bound (affiliate link)

a. because they are trying to spread optimism,

b. because 10% of the profits go to childcare foundations for children in need,


c. everyone should read their book. Seriously. Read my review of it here.

Life is good. I'm on a boat
On a boat in Sitka, Alaska: Life is Good sweatshirt (similar one on the website here)

By purchasing Life is Good: The Book through this affiliate link you can support a socially responsible company, your local bookstore (or the collective), and your favorite blogger. You’re welcome.


This post contains affiliate links (shocking, I know), however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands which help maintain this blog.

Let’s Talk!

Who are your favorite socially responsible retailers? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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