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FAQ: General

FAQ: General


What is IndieBound? is part of the larger IndieBound marketing program of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), a trade association representing thousands of independent bookstores. This website allows the online book buying customer a way to shop local and indie, and provides an alternative to Amazon and other giant e-retailers. Local, indie businesses support and enrich local communities by keeping dollars circulating, people employed, and real estate occupied. To learn more about IndieBound and why shopping local does make a difference, visit

Why can’t I find the book I want in your database?

While we maintain a large database of more than 10,000,000 books, we don't have everything! In particular, we don't carry used or out-of-print titles. We also don't list e-books at this time. We do list titles that are in our data feed from Ingram and that will be published within the next nine months.

Why is the pricing higher on than other ecommerce sites?

There are many reasons why Amazon offers lower prices on some products. They don't mind losing money and using books as a loss leader to get customers interested in buying other, higher-value items. is a project of the American Booksellers Association, and the site is meant as a way to find a local bookstore and support the indie network with online purchases. As such, we are obligated to offer the books at the suggested retail list price. Individual stores may discount, but it is a very difficult proposition for an indie to do that. The margins in books are very thin. Indie bookstores offer selection, discovery, author events, a gathering place, and a truly unique environment, all qualities that have no dollar equivalent.

By supporting independent retail, consumers are supporting their neighborhoods, communities, public services, and everything that a healthy local economy contributes to. Here is an article about the true cost of shopping with Amazon:

Can I partner with or exchange links with

IndieBound does not typically exchange links or banners with other websites.

Do you have a wish list or sell gift cards on discontinued the wish list functionality, and we cannot accept gift cards at the moment.

How can I subscribe to receive emails from or to receive Indie Next List emails from my local store? How do I unsubscribe?

We would love to get you the Indie Next List via e-newsletter! To be added to an independent bookstore or Indie Next List e-newsletter, please email with your name and ZIP Code, and will pass along the information. To unsubscribe, click the unsubscribe link on the store e-newsletter.

I am interested in obtaining rights to a certain book (foreign, domestic, other); can help? is a book sales platform only. To obtain or inquire about book rights, contact the publisher directly.

How does the ZIP Code store locator work?

The secret ingredient is geocoding, and the secret chef is Google! We use Google's APIs to turn each store's address into latitude and longitude coordinates. When a customer enters a ZIP Code, we turn that into latitude and longitude coordinates as well and use trigonometry to calculate the closest stores to the center of that ZIP Code.

What does “not currently available for direct purchase” mean?

IndieBound fulfills customer orders using Ingram's Consumer Direct Fulfillment service. That means, in order for us to be able to sell a book to a customer, one or more copies of that book have to be on hand at one of Ingram's warehouses. If Ingram has no copies in stock, we will display the message "Not Currently Available for Direct Purchase" to customers. The book can still be purchased using our ZIP Code search for ecommerce-enabled bookstores, but if Ingram doesn't have it, we can't fulfill it ourselves.

Do you sell books outside of the U.S. and Canada?

We do not ship outside of the U.S. or Canada.