Hachette partners with Gumroad to sell books through Twitter

For the past few months, e-commerce platform Gumroad has worked in partnership with Twitter to allow users of the social network to buy products without leaving the site. Sellers can embed a ‘buy’ button in tweets, allowing customers to buy directly from them with a single click safe in the knowledge that Twitter now has easy access to their home addresses and credit card details.

Until now, this mode of commerce has mostly been used in conjunction with music labels and charities (which makes sense, given the mostly digital landscape of modern music consumption and the essentially one way transaction of donating to a charity). Following its highly public spat with Amazon, however – which rumbled on throughout much of the year and left no one looking good – Hachette has become the first major publisher to make its titles available through Twitter, seemingly keen to explore new avenues in digital bookselling.

From Thursday, the publisher’s US arm will begin selling books through tweets from three of its authors: musician Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, astronaut Chris Hadfield’s You Are Here and beloved comedic institution The Onion’s The Onion Magazine: The Iconic Covers That Transformed an Undeserving World. Each title bought through Twitter is sent to customers with an exclusive bonus item (respectively original manuscript pages, signed aerial photos and note cards).

Michael Pietsch, ceo of Hachette Book Group, says of the partnership: ‘With so much of our book marketing done socially now, in-stream Twitter purchasing is a natural next step. Gumroad’s success working with music labels and artists to enable sales to fans, and their partnership with Twitter, put them at the forefront of social media commerce.’

Gumroad’s founder and ceo, Sahil Lavingia, adds: ‘We’ve been really impressed by Hachette’s commitment to exploring new opportunities for their authors to make money and engage directly with readers through social commerce. They don’t shy away from new technology—they’re genuinely committed to exploring what the future of publishing looks like.’

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