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StreetLib Seeks to Compete with Gumroad, Aerbook

streetlib logoThere’s been much talk of late about the need to develop an ubiquitous bookstore to better compete with Amazon. Between Gumroad, e-Junkie, and, 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:

sreetlib screenshot

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,, 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.

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Ron Martinez April 14, 2015 um 3:25 am

Nate, thanks for the Aerbook mention.

I believe Aerbook’s service extension, Retail Network, may be more relevant here than the original Aerbook service, since 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 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.

Nate Hoffelder April 14, 2015 um 11:50 am

Fixed it, thanks.

Michele April 15, 2015 um 2:17 am

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.

Facebook Wants a Cut of eBook Sales on Its Social Network | The Digital Reader July 16, 2015 um 8:55 am

[…] 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 […]

Said August 20, 2015 um 2:38 am

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

Nate Hoffelder August 20, 2015 um 6:54 am

That’s terrible, yes.

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