Bibliocloud is a Shopify partner

Have you given up on making money from your website? Look no further

"Everyone goes to Amazon"

What are the differences between the sort of website that publishers generally provide and the sort of sales-focused site that Shopify is all about?

The answer, we think, is that publishers have largely given up on D2C sales websites, because "everyone goes to Amazon". The challenges that are defeating them at the moment are:

  • Lowering the barriers to making a sale (the need to provide credit card details and a logon, for example, and handling payments)
  • Discoverability
  • Providing more advanced sales features (recoverable baskets, discount codes, cross-product discount, price drops)
  • Keeping costs absolutely tight.

Unless publishers believe that they can do this, the web site becomes primarily a marketing tool that is paid for by marketing, and then it focuses on whatever marketers do -- and, more often than not, that means spending money without needing to account for results.

Make money from your site...

Publishers don't believe they can rise to those four challenges, so they give up on using their website as a revenue generation tool.

However, these are challenges that anyone who sells D2C also face, because Amazon competes with everyone other than those selling jet engines and submarines. Bicycles, handbags, pens ... it's all on Amazon nowadays, right?

So Shopify and its "ecosystem" actually focus on exactly the problems that publishers are beset by, and they are evolving to meet all of those challenges in a way that only the biggest publishers can currently afford.

It integrates to allow selling through Facebook, and will allow selling through Twitter when that is widely available. It integrates with 50 payment processing gateways, you can fulfill worldwide through state of the art shipping centres without going through a book distributor, use SEO and analytics, sell personalised digital downloads, and even let customers login with their Amazon credentials.

...Without paying thousands

Most importantly, it does these really economically because there is now a very liquid market with aggressive competition among suppliers of these features.

We don't think that this is confined to trade publishers, either. Academics also have unique challenges, which is why they end up fulfilling journal and book orders through Metapress and the like. However, it is technically very easy to upload digital journals and their individual articles for sale on Shopify, and hand out discount codes, provide bundles and upselling promotions, and so on.

Shopify costs about £30 a month. There is a rich ecosystem of additional apps -- such as basket abandonment protector -- and the others you can see here, which tend to be anything between free and around $19 a month. And Bibliocloud's Shopify integration ships as part of the standard user license: no extra charges.

In other words, you can have a state of the art, revenue-generating, modern, beautifully-designed website for a tiny amount of money.


Shopify is the market leader in ecommerce sites -- bar none.

If you use Bibliocloud you can have an amazing customer-facing website for no extra date entry effort. Bibliocloud feeds your Shopify store with book data. Then you can sell your books: digital and otherwise.
  • Shopify is the world’s leading commerce SAAS provider, and the platform of choice for over 100,000 active global retailers.
  • Sell online, offline and on-the-go using Shopify’s powerful technology.
  • Use your own domain name
  • Sell gift cards
  • Integrated blogging platform to create blog posts
  • Process credit card payments directly through Shopify, or other gateways
  • Process in-store purchases with Shopify POS
  • Process purchases with your iPhone using Shopify Mobile
  • Receive on-boarding support from a Shopify Guru
  • Access ecommerce analytics
  • Use built-in SEO, coupon codes and A/B testing
  • Rely on fast servers and cutting edge infrastructure
  • Fully PCI Level 1 Compliant checkout
  • Unlimited products
  • Shopify is always adding free new features to help you sell

Case study: Liverpool University Press

When this award-winning university press chose Bibliocloud as their publishing management system, they also wanted it to integrate with their customer facing website. We designed a new, beautiful Shopify store for them from the ground up, giving them "an online presence befitting a leading publisher in its field" (Anthony Cond, Managing Director, Liverpool University Press, IPG Frankfurt Book Fair Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year 2015 and The Bookseller Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year 2015).
  • Bespoke design, adhering to sensible ecommerce conventions whilst being tailored to precisely LUP's specification
  • Complex multi-level taxonomy, where books can belong to more than one category
  • Series, sets, editions, formats, tags, metadata, reviews: products arranged in an accessible way
  • Seamless and automatic integration between Shopify and Bibliocloud
  • Sells all formats: ebooks, hardback, paperback, journals, online
  • Discount codes to support LUP's 'Free Read Friday', plus mailing list sign up
  • Plenty of easy to edit static pages
  • Multiple payment gateways including Paypal and credit card via Stripe
  • Fully responsive
  • Fully supported design, with ongoing tweaks as desired by the client
  • Analytics via a complete back-end admin interface
  • Correct VAT management on European ebook sales
  • Shipping and stock management
  • Prominent social media links to encourage sharing, and a blog
  • Related products, related journals
  • Search, sort, filter, follow links to interesting related products

Astonishing design

Look at the sort of themes you can get out of the box with Shopify. Choose from over 100 existing templates which range from free to about £100 (a one off fee), or ask us or another Shopify design agency to create one of your own. I mean, look at this, just to pick one at random. Read more about the flexibility and beauty of Shopify's design capabilities here. Obviously, Shopify stores look great on all sizes of screen and device.

Incredibly cheap

Even on its most expensive monthly-rate tier, Shopify costs less than other options. Read about their pricing here. They make their money based on a modest cut of each transaction -- so you only pay if you sell books. And we don't charge to integrate Bibliocloud with your Shopify store. It's a low risk way to have a full service ecommerce offer. We do, however, charge to design your store.

Why Shopify?

We love it because its code is clean, it's a delight to integrate with and it's easy to make a Shopify shop look modern and act in a way that delights your readers. Here's what they say about why you should choose them. We've used many different paths to creating B2C websites over the years, and, hands-down, Shopify is the best approach by any measure -- cost, design, and utility.

Flexible functionality

There are many extensions available to enhance the core Shopify functionality. From social DRM watermarking to email marketing integrations, it's easy to find additional plug-ins which means if you want a particular functionality you won't have to pay for bespoke code development. Have a look here to see some of the many Shopify apps.

No hosting & maintenance charges

You don't pay a user license *and* hosting: it's all in one. So if you have the basic tier, it's $29 a month. Nothing more. (That's not per user -- it's $29 for the whole site, regardless of how many users interact with it). Bibliocloud doesn't charge anything to integrate with your Shopify store -- the functionality is included in our user license fee.

Blog and social media

Shopify comes with a blogging engine. It's trivial to import your blog's history, including posts, comments and images, from your old system, whether that's Wordpress or a proprietary CMS. Social media sharing links and widget integrations also ship as standard, so your readers can share the gems they find on your website with an easy, familiar click.

Email marketing

A single tick is all the configuration that's required to set up a Mailchimp mailing list integration, and there are many other email marketing integrations available, too. Readers can sign up to any number of mailing lists from your site. Have a look at an example here of how a newsletter pop up can be quite unobtrusive, but still get your email marketing list richly populated. Read more about email marketing with Shopify here.

Data feed

When your book data is compliant and complete in Bibliocloud, you can approve it for publication on your website. You can do things like amend prices, add reviews, change images, upload spreads and construct complex authorship arrangements in Bibliocloud, which sends all this data and more in the correct format to your Shopify store (using their API). It's seamless, painless and means you only have to enter data once.


Consumers living in the EU must pay VAT on digital goods at the rate applicable in their own country. This rule applies regardless of where in the EU the seller is located. From January 1st 2015, if you're selling digital goods to customers in the EU, you should charge VAT based on your customers' locations. Shopify has worked quickly to ensure that the recently VAT changes are supported. There's a full article on it here. We can also configure the special low book VAT rates enjoyed by Italy, Malta, France and Luxembourg.


Product list interface

You won't have to type data in -- it'll arrive automatically from Bibliocloud -- but there's a nice interface in Shopify to see what products are on your store.

Product interface

You can add to your product data within Shopify, if you want, using the product edit interface -- but all this data comes directly from Bibliocloud.

Theme configuration

You can change fonts, colours, layout, the order of elements and so on through the interface. Tinker all you want without having to pay a developer. Having control is very appealing.

Admin interface

The sort of clear, crisp, real-time admin dashboard that you'd expect from the leading ecommerce provider in the world.

Effortless professionalism

Effortlessly good-looking website. All this data comes direct from Bibliocloud -- you don't need to add anything more. It's how things should be: one version of the truth, systems sharing data in the right format.