About The BentoNet
The BentoNet is an online distribution service that connects small press – and self-published authors – with independent book stores. The BentoNet uses IngramSpark, a division of Ingram Content Group, the world’s largest wholesaler of print and electronic books, to print and distribute books that are printed on demand and delivered to book stores after they have been already ordered and paid for by a consumer.
The BentoNet is an Australian business, fully-owned and operated within Australia. It's based in Sydney and Brisbane – please use the contact us form in the footer below for more of our contact details.
Filling the Gap
Small book stores have limited shelf space, and have to be carefully selective about the books they stock. Small publishers and self-published authors don’t have immediate guaranteed access to book store shelves. The BentoNet fills this gap by allowing consumers to purchase books from listed publishers and collect them from listed book stores, or have the bookstore ship it to them.
The book store gains an unlimited virtual book shelf, with titles that are printed as needed and delivered direct to the store by Ingram. Ingram can also ship directly to the customer.
The publisher gains access to independent book store shelves and the possibility of further orders if a title sells well.
How It Works – Book Stores
(For more details go to ‘Join the BentoNet as a Bookstore’)
The book store signs up to The BentoNet. When a book is ordered by a consumer, they can elect to collect it from the store, or have the store ship it directly to them. The store will receive the book that’s been printed after the order was received, and deliver it to the customer. Alternatively, the store can also ask Ingram to print it and then directly ship it to the customer's address.
The store will receive the standard wholesale discount – and the books are already sold before they arrive in the store.
How it Works – Small and Individual Publishers
(For more detail go to ‘Join the BentoNet as a Publisher’)
The small press publisher (or individual author – but joining a guild is preferable, see guilds below) signs up for the BentoNet. They list their books for a tiered fee – which are already published with IngramSpark, listing a retail price (allowing for standard wholesale discount, depending on region). Consumers can browse the different categories, order a book, and opt to collect it from a book store. The order is sent through to the store, who arrange the printing of the book and delivery to the customer.
If a book sells well, the book store is motivated to order extra copies to place on the shelf. The publisher gains visibility and distribution through book stores.
Publishers can opt to join together to form guilds on The BentoNet site. Guilds are groups of publishers that share a common goal, and is often based around a common location or theme. Each guild has a title, a possible genre type, and its own reviews, bestseller lists, and ratings. It’s a way for publishers to share the cost of listing a book (see ‘Publishers: How much does it cost?’) and perform cross-promotion of their titles.
Guilds are also a way for a community to enforce its own literary standards. Different communities prefer different kinds of books, and have different ways of determining a book's quality. The guild system makes it easier for readers to find quality books that are hand-picked by various community leaders and taste-makers, while still having access to other books from that community that didn't make the cut (for whatever reason).
Ingram Content Group is the world’s largest wholesaler of print and electronic books. IngramSpark is based on LightningSource, Ingram’s print-on-demand service which distributes to bookstores and libraries world-wide. IngramSpark is designed to be a self-service model, producing quality paperback and hardcover books for both text and illustration in black and white and colour.
The BentoNet enriches the connection between publisher and book store, allowing book stores to source and sell books produced by small publishers. The BentoNet itself does not print or distribute the books; it uses the existing IngramSpark infrastructure to enhance and facilitate the connection between publisher, retailer, and consumer.
For further details on The BentoNet and information on how to join, go to the contact us form in the footer below, or email us here.
Important: The BentoNet is fully independent of Ingram, and is not affiliated with Ingram in any way. The BentoNet is committed to supporting small publishers and small bookstores, and is open to all print-on-demand services in general.