StreetLib Seeks to Compete with Gumroad, Aerbook

StreetLib Seeks to Compete with Gumroad, Aerbook eBookstore There's been much talk of late about the need to develop an ubiquitous bookstore to better compete with Amazon. Between Gumroad, e-Junkie, and Aer.io, authors and publishers have a bevy of options for selling direct, and pretty soon they'll have one more.

StreetLib is a new white-label retail platform from the Italian digital publishing company Simplicissimus. Rather than draw customers into a custom store, Streetlib is designed to be integrated into other websites.

It provides easy to use widgets which let website owners simply drop a couple lines of code into a webpage and create a fully functional store. (Or at least that is how it is supposed to work; I  bet I could break the widget.) The retailer can choose which ebook titles to stock from Streetlib's catalog, resulting in a curated bookstore which reflects the retailer's interests and focus.

Here's an example from the Streetlib website:

StreetLib Seeks to Compete with Gumroad, Aerbook eBookstore

When an ebook is sold, the website owner gets 15%, with another 15% going to Streetlib and 70% going to the supplier. That supplier can be either a publisher or an author who had uploaded their ebooks through Narcissus, the self-pub platform run by Simplicissimus.

And to be clear, an author can sell their own work on their own website and, assuming all goes well, recoup 85% of the retail price. That's pretty good, but it's not as good as Gumroad, which charges 5% plus a 25 cent fee.

On the other hand, Gumroad comes with a whole host of problems, including useful features hidden from creators, poorly written FAQ and support pages, a mis-identification problem with collecting payments, and more.

Why, no, I don't like Gumroad, but I am including all of these details not just to bash the platform but also so you can better evaluate StreetLib, Aer.io, or one of their competitors.

White-label retail platforms like Gumroad have been around for at least 5 years (e-Junkie dates back to 2003) and over time I expect new platforms to supplant existing ones. By pointing out the flaws in one platform I am hoping to help authors and publishers avoid similar issues when they evaluate other platforms.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

6 Comments

  1. Ron Martinez14 April, 2015

    Nate, thanks for the Aerbook mention.

    I believe Aerbook’s service extension, Aer.io Retail Network, may be more relevant here than the original Aerbook service, since Aer.io has a catalog of 2MM+ items anyone can add to an embeddable storefront, or sell one-at-a-time via page widgets or by sharing in social streams or apps. You can also push your own books in the Aer.io network through Aerbook’s self-service front-end.

    Both Gumroad and StreetLib look pretty cool. Does either have a multi-item, multi-store cart? Many of these “file dispensers” seem best suited to one-item-at-a-time sales.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder14 April, 2015

      Fixed it, thanks.

      Reply
    2. Michele15 April, 2015

      Thanks for the interest Nate!
      To respond to Ron (Hi Ron), StreetLib, by now, is mono-product, I mean you can have multi-product in a widget but you can buy/sell one per time.
      We are working to bring also this kind of feature with a simple cart, but as you said we are more focused to the one-time-at-a-time sale.

      Reply
  2. […] people have been selling stuff on Facebook since at least 2009. They've been using services like Streetlib, Aerbook, and Gumroad to install shops on existing FB pages, and in some cases also using payment […]

    Reply
  3. Said20 August, 2015

    StreetLib is horrible company and cheats author by failure to reports sale and keeping sales cash without notifying authors. Try it and you will see. Published and order your own book under friend sales never show up and you don’t get paid

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder20 August, 2015

      That’s terrible, yes.

      Reply

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