Ingram Spark, the Print on Demand (POD) arm of Lightning Source, has acquired a new platform for book publishing where authors retain more of the profits. You can sell your own books as well as making money from books you recommend.
Called Aer.io, it is what they call a native retail network and offers:
- Social marketing tools
- Mobile-optimized cart and checkout
- Order fulfillment for both print and eBooks
You can embed the store inside your website. On my current website, I used Amazon to sell my books or I sell them directly to Australians myself (so they don’t have to pay ridiculous postage fees).
You can share your store, embed it in a page on your blog or website. (You’ll find the Embed code under the Setup & Embed tab.)
You can add your own colors and branding under the Style Tab, and create Playlists, too: collections of items you think belong together. Playlists will show up with your styling in your Aer.io Storefront.
And don’t forget: you can get page widgets for any item in your store. Go to Inventory, tap on Get Widgets, customize, and grab the HTML code you can drop into a page or blog post.
Use the icons on the product detail “cards” to share to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and really anywhere else you’d like. Your product will expand on those networks with a preview that can be tapped to take people right into the details and the buy button.
In addition to all of the above, Aer.io offers social marketing services which are apparently used by major publishers and authors, such as HarperCollins, Hachette, and others.
Aer.io offers different plans:
Free Retail Plan
No cost to you to set up. Sell directly on your site or on the Aer.io platform. Aer.io take 10% commission. Aer.io handles fulfillment and support.
Costs $49US per title, per year. This plan makes your book available across other retailers like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and iBooks. If you have a lot of books, this will get pretty expensive.
Costs $99US per title, per year. Social share an excerpt from you book and then direct a buyer to whatever retail platform you choose. You can offer free giveaways and get the reader’s email address from within the sample.
I added my two coloring books and they weren’t for sale in my territory nor did they have their cover displaying. I found the support email, sent a quick note in describing the problem. A guy called Ron emailed me back straight away and sorted out the problem. I was very impressed. He even commented on my setting up the style of the store. Now that’s my sort of customer service, quick, helpful and kind!
I easily created a store and then embedded it into a new WordPress page on my site. I am just using the free plan as I don’t want to spend the extra right now as I have a few titles and it could get expensive when you’re paying per title. But I may change my mind as the platform grows.
Here’s the link to the store on the Aer.io website:
Here’s what it looks like embedded into my website:
And here’s what my bookstore looked like using Amazon embed codes:
Get Your Account
You can sign up for your own Aer.io account at: http://www.aer.io/
What do you think of Aer.io (aside from the fact that the name is tricky!)? Would you use it in addition to Amazon? Let me know below!