People Innovation Excellence

The Transition of Independent Bookselling to Digital Space: A Case Study of Transit Bookstore’s Instagram

Many industries experience and struggle with financial hardship during the global COVID-19 pandemic, including the bookselling industry. Due to the imposed lockdown and stay-at-home orders, retail bookstores had to transform their selling method to online selling. This study investigates the issue further by focusing on independent bookstores, specifically the shift from physical to digital space. A case study is conducted on one independent bookstore based in Jakarta, namely Transit Bookstore. This paper discusses what kind of challenges occur, the strategies they apply to adapt, and how they use Instagram during the pandemic. The data are collected by conducting a mixed method (textual-visual analysis and semi-structured interview) and then analyzed using a qualitative approach. The result shows how by incorporating social media into their operations, Transit Bookstore manages to not only sell and promote their books but also engage with the reading community and create a new book-buying experience. The objectives of this paper are to make a significant contribution to the discussion of independent bookstores in Indonesia and to offer a new perspective on the impact of social media for independent bookselling.

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