Christian Retailing

Innovative to offer e-book delivery system Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 02 May 2011 03:38 PM America/New_York

Digital marketing services company Innovative is to make e-book downloads available for Christian stores through a partnership with audiobook supplier eChristian, recently rebranded from Christianaudio.

The e-book delivery system is to be added to Innovative's Signature Websites currently used by around 300 stores, and will also be made available to retailers who do not use the Signature service.

The announcement of the new service comes ahead of the results of CBA's search to find a possible industry-wide platform that would enable Christian stores to sell digital titles.

"Providing customers with a complete selection of Christian e-books and downloadable audiobooks is critical to the Christian products industry at this time," said Larry Haege president of Innovative. "Now is the time we must come together to develop business models successfully embracing e-books and downloadable audiobooks for growth within our industry."

Haege told Christian Retailing that the new service would likely go live sometime between July 15 and Aug. 15, by which time the partners expected to have agreements with between a dozen and 15 of the top 20 Christian publishers to provide their e-titles.

"We are expecting that by the fall selling season, we will have the majority of Christian e-books available," Haege said. The service will be added to the existing Innovative program for a nominal fee and also be offered to non-Innovative stores for a charge, he added.

Cory Verner, president of eChristian, said that the company was pleased to partner with Innovative to make e-books and downloadable audiobooks available. "Our experience and relationships built with have been invaluable in creating the eChristian commerce platform which is a best-in-class digital delivery system," he added.

CBA began its e-book platform efforts at the International Christian Retail Show last year. Executive Director Curtis Riskey told Christian Retailing that a task force announcement on whether the industry would support a cooperative e-book delivery system was planned for by the end of May. The recently Signature Websites/eChristian solution is not part of this discussion, although eChristian is a task-force finalist, he said.