The company made the donation after booksellers appealed for funds to help the industry weather the coronavirus crisis. Many non-essential businesses, such as bookstores, closed during the pandemic.
Crowdfunding was created by individuals from the London Review Bookshop, Picador and Daunt Books to support The Book Trade Charity, which provides help to those who work or have worked in the industry. The charity donates money to businesses that sell, publish, distribute and print books.
He has accumulated over £ 68,000 ($ 84,000) in public donations. The Booksellers Association has pledged to donate £ 30,000 ($ 37,000) and publisher Penguin Random House has pledged £ 50,000 ($ 62,000).
On Friday, the association received a surprise boost of £ 250,000 ($ 310,000).
Dan Hicks, CEO of The Book Trade Charity, confirmed to CNN on Thursday that Amazon was the mysterious benefactor.
“The bookstores have had a difficult time in recent years. There has been a resurgence in recent years, but they have the problems of all street stores – they have competition, and [those who set up the crowd fund] felt a hit like this might be more than some stores could take, “Hicks told CNN.
He said he received a phone call from Amazon offering the donation directly to the organizers, rather than via the fundraising page, the company telling him that he wanted to keep the donation “discreet”.
While Amazon, a major book seller, was criticized for the role it played in the disruption the market, Hicks said he welcomed the donation.
“Receiving half of our annual income, in addition to our annual income, is a great boost for the work we can do,” he added.
Later Thursday, Amazon confirmed the donation in a statement. “We can confirm that we have made a donation to the Book Trade Charity relief fund for independent bookstores,” said a spokesperson.