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Aerio Retail Network

Building a New, Decentralized

Bookselling Ecosystem

Invention Arts founder Ron Martinez keynote at the EPUB Summit in Bordeaux, April 2016, charts the design progression of Aer.io, from nonlinear pathway books for kids, to global, native retail platform.

An Industry-Scale Commerce Ecosystem

Aerio was acquired by book industry giant Ingram Content Group in 2015, and is now being expanded along every axis, from range of titles (now 14MM items in Aerio) to university presses and trade publishers, influencers, media companies. Aer.io is also embarked on a global expansion effort, with developing partnerships in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australia, and South Africa.

Aerio evolved from the original Invention Arts project known as Aerbook. Aerbook’s roots can be in turn found in Tweebus, an Invention Arts app developed in 2009, that mined Twitter and Facebook social postings to aggregate information around a stated topic.

The original Aerbook extended the Monocle browser-based e-reader with Tweebus-like topical streams (e.g., current Facebook and Twitter posts about The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, along with a readable excerpt. This “Aerbook” was easily shared, with built-in social sharing buttons.

We noticed that there was, at the same time, an evolving form of eBook, the fixed-layout, javascript-enabled, CSS-powered illustrated book format. We developed Aerbook Maker to build such books, but then saw that the market was fragmented and overly controlled by proprietary formats.

This, then, was the impetus for building direct-to-consumer book retailing, including print and digital, with a particular focus on making every point of engagement a potential point of sale.