1. What is this document? Who should read it?
This document describes the marketing services offered by the platform and the requirements needed to use it. It does not contain technical instructions to implement these services, which are the subject of another paper. This document is for someone who is considering getting involved in the marketing of books (digital or not) available in the platform and who wants a comprehensive overview of the possibilities. It was written in the form of questions and answers for easy reference.
2. What services are offered by the platform for resellers of books?
The platform offers retailers various services, divided into two broad categories:
- marketing tool (flipbook, metadata [title, price ...] feed);
- sales and delivery of ebooks (following a transaction with a user).
3. What are the requirements to be a reseller of ebooks available in the platform?
To become a reseller of ebooks available in the platform, you must:
- get a reseller agreement with at least one editor present in the platform,
- commit to the terms and conditions of use (see below),
- meet the technical conditions (see Question 4 below).
The reseller must:
- synchronize its data with the platform regularly, at least every 24 hours;
- manage customer service to buyers of books;
- manage transactions with buyers of books, including the payment;
- offer a private space to book buyers, to allow them to see their purchase history, and download a book again in case of technical problems.
4. What are the technical requirements to be met for selling books from the platform?
With regards to developments on the retailer's website, the following technical information is useful to know:
- Make sure to read the Check list for sellers document, to know which features should be added to your site.
- The web service for synchronizing ebooks catalog consists of a RESTful API (GET and POST method are required) returning XML or Onix 3.0 files, accessible through a dedicated URL. Your marketing tool will need to extract data from the XML or Onix 3.0 files.
- Sales service and delivery of books are implemented through a RESTful web service which implies a basic HTTP authentication (HTTP Basic).
5. What are the steps required to use the services of the platform?
You have read this document and decided on the services you want, the conditions are right for you, and you understand the technical constraints? You can now follow these steps in setting up the services:
First, you register for an account (this is very fast, but please still provide a period of one or two working days):
- contact us and give us some basic information necessary for creating your access to the platform: name, address, contact person, logo (this is mainly to customize the display of flipbooks);
- we will return the full technical documentation, with the access codes to services.
Note: It is possible to access the technical documentation before registration.
There should then be a learning period for your technical staff. A few hours will suffice if your team masters the technologies listed in Question 4 and they understand the architecture of your website, if it is fairly flexible.
Finally, your technical staff can proceed with the implementation of services in the following order:
- data synchronization between your catalog and the platform's, probably the step that requires the most attention. The time required will vary from one location to another;
- marketing services assistance (browsing, display data structures) should require a few hours (or less than an hour in some cases) in a site already built, with a flexible architecture;
- service for sales and delivery will be solved within one working day if your site already has transactional means and a private space for the customer. We propose to allow sufficient time for quality control on this aspect, considering the transactional nature of this service.
Once the development is finished or almost finished, please let us know your launch date. Also, please provide us a testing platform, so that we can have a look to the purchase process, and see if all the web services are correctly used.
Your account can then be activated.
6. Is there anything else I should know?
- free books can be offered by publishers : they are regular ebooks, but with a 0 price.
- check the applicable tax rates on ebooks.
- if your after-sales team needs to contact De Marque to report an issue with an ebook, they will have to provide the following informations : customer_id, transaction_id used on the Sales API, and the ebook's ISBN and format. Please make sure your backend tool allows your team to retrieve those informations for a specific purchase.
- the download link displayed to the user should be secure. The user must be logged onto its bookstore's account to use this link. A user who has not logged onto the site who has access to this URL should be denied access to download.
- the ebook copies you sell to your customers will always be available for download or re-download on our servers. The download web service should always be used the same way, for the first and subsequent download requests.