How to Market & Sell Your Books Online with Previews

How to Market & Sell Your Books Online with Previews

Aerio Staff

Add Value, Drive Engagement & Increase Book Sales

With an increased focus on digital book marketing, and with the upcoming holiday book selling season on every publisher and author’s minds, it’s a great time to learn more about digital book previews and how they can increase online engagement and conversions.

Why Previews Matter

So, what is it about previews? From its inception, eCommerce has always tried to mimic effective aspects of brick and mortar experience. Picking up a book and paging through is no exception. Some of the best marketing is the content of the book. Assets are on hand and often under-utilized by publishers and authors, relying on retailers to initiate engagement and conversions.

Retailers Adopted “Look Inside” Feature

In the early days of book previews, Amazon indicated an increase in conversion percentages for books enrolled in their “Look Inside the Book” program.

Barnes & Noble and many other online retailers quickly followed, adding “Look Inside” and other types of previews and sampling to their sites, at considerable effort and expense. And for good reasons; consumers now expect it, and it’s been proven to sell books.

Are Book Previews Effective?

A recent study conducted in the Korean market (which transitions well into the US and European markets) shows a support for the hypothesis that books with both a preview and review outperform books with neither function.

When Seeing Helps Believing: The Interactive Effects of Previews and Reviews on E-Book Purchases,” Information Systems Research, Feb 2019

The numbers show that books without previews have a significantly lower chance of converting to sale.

Power Your Digital Marketing with Aerio Previews

Reach and engage readers anywhere online with Aerio’s digital book previews.

4 Benefits of Using Aerio

  1. Customizable Previews: Flexible and sharable “look inside” feature, white-labeled for your branding
  2. Elegant Book Pages: To share, market, and sell your books anywhere online.
  3. Email Capture: Grow your email list by capturing emails within custom previews, ebook giveaways, and direct-to-consumer book sale transactions.
  4. Flexible Selling Options: Sell books direct, link out to your preferred retail partner, or both! Offer a truly convenient shopping experience.

How Powerful are Aerio’s Previews?

Previews powered by Aerio can be used on any platform as they are responsive and look great on any device. Similar to YouTube videos, they are flexible and can be embedded in any blog post, article, social stream, etc.

Aerio previews are also elegant as they’re based on ePubs, not scans. Aerio enables syndication out of the box, and every preview is its own custom URL link.

Image @West Margin Press Aerio Preview

But, really…are they effective?

In 2019 – 2020, hundreds of thousands of Aerio Previews were served millions of times. Depending on the site on which the previews were served:

Are Previews Right for Me?

Do any of these statements ring true:

  • I have books that could use more marketing oomph, but not a lot of money to spend per book.
  • I have a website with visitors who don’t hang around very long.
  • I have a website and don’t think it is driving sales but, also, can’t tell.
  • I am developing email lists (or want to) and social presences (or want to) but can’t figure out what to provide that will be of value.
  • I feel like I give everything to online retailers and hope they’ll push my books. Is there any way to level the field a bit?
  • I have great books. How can I get more eyes on them?

If you can answer yes to several of these questions, then you can likely benefit from digital book previews.

How to Use Aerio Previews in Your Book Marketing

Aerio’s previews can be used anywhere you can provide a URL link – on websites, blog posts, in email marketing or social advertising, basically any online platform or social stream.

Share Previews Across Your Website

Aerio previews work great across publisher and author websites, providing a sneak-peek for every book page or to feature titles on your home page.

  • Full site previews: Add “look inside” samples to your site with a line of code.

  • Fully responsive: More than 50% of Aerio preview sessions in 2019 analysis came from mobile devices (including tablets).
  • Increase engagement: Give your site the content it needs to satisfy browsers. From simply listing the titles in your catalogue to an enriched content site overnight.
  • Customize links: Link to the retailers of your choice, configure social sharing and following.
  • Enable email capture: build your lead list for further engagement and retargeting.

Make sure your site is up to date with new and upcoming releases. Include detailed book information and retail links to enable sales. Offer “Look Inside” samples and excerpts to improve engagement and click-through rates.

Share Previews in Blogs and Email Marketing

You can easily drive blog readers & email subscribers to your digital book previews.

  • Feature new and upcoming title previews in email newsletters.
  • Include preview links for related titles in blog posts.

At any point in the preview process you can also prompt the readers to enter their email address to continue reading. Aerio allows you to determine when the email pop-up will display and customize the call-to-action. Emails collected via Aerio are always passed onto you, we do not contact them and never share them with a 3rd-party.

Share Previews on Social Media

Aerio’s previews are tailor-made for social platforms and can offer an in-app reading experience. They can be employed in ads or organic posts on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. All functions and features we’ve mentioned above carry through to social streams so engagement tends to be high, which in turn increases the value of the posts where they are linked or referenced.


  • Add “Swipe Up” links to Instagram

Instagram Stories allow you to share a photo or video that is only available for 24 hours. Stories can be added to your highlights and featured on your profile. Adding a link requires a verified account of 10,000 followers, but you can also pay to add links to sponsored Stories.

  • Utilize “Link in bio” on Instagram

Each Instagram profile includes a single link in the about information. A common tactic by influencers is to periodically update this link to get around the fact that there is no native support for a link in an image post. Add an Aerio preview link to your bio with a compelling call to action and see reads and click throughs to buy.

Image @tamstales32 on Instagram


Facebook’s in-app browser experience allows consumers to preview, download and purchase an Aerio book without ever leaving the platform. Simply copy-and-paste an Aerio preview link in a Facebook post to display a card with the book cover image, title and author name. Share the book card as-is or upload a custom image to encourage your followers to read and engage.

Facebook Post with auto-generated link card:

Facebook Post with a custom image and text:

Image @HeydayBooks on Facebook


The Twitter card for Aerio previews will display a portion of the cover image, the title of the book, and the beginning of the book description. You can also customize your tweet to display an image of your choosing that links through to the preview.

Pro tip: consider using Bitly or other URLs shorteners to track clicks


To share an Aerio preview on Pinterest, you’ll want to create a new pin and select “save from site” to enter the preview URL. From there you can choose a provided image to pin with the link or upload a custom image, add a title and description and the pin is ready to encourage readers to click-through.

Share Previews Through Social Advertising

If you’ve already posted an Aerio preview through social, you can boost your existing post to get additional engagement, or create a unique paid ad.

Instagram Sponsored Story:        Facebook Carousel Ad:        Pinterest Promoted Pin:

Aerio Makes Previews Easy

  • Simple Upload Process – upload ePubs and PDFs with a click of a button.
  • Customize Preview Content - select the pages or chapters you’d like to display.
  • Apply Discounts & Promotions – instantly applied with use limits and date parameters.
  • Create “Buy-Button” Widgets  - embed and host each preview where your audience lives.
  • Display Social Follow Links - add links for any website or social profile, to encourage further engagement.
  • Capture Consumer Emails – make it mandatory or optional and customize your call-to-action.
  • Offer Flexible Buying Options – sell direct through Aerio, link out to your favorite retailers, or do both for a convenient shopping experience!
  • Access Reporting & Analytics – view on-demand reports showing consumer engagement and purchase activity.

For Publishers & Authors located outside of the U.S. - Get Started Here