Publishing startup Ganxy launches new tool for ebook giveaways

Ganxy, a startup that helps publishers sell and market ebooks online, launched tools Monday that will let publishers give away ebooks (and other digital content) to select audiences. The company is also giving publishers the ability to order printed cards with promotional codes for free content.

As I wrote in October, Ganxy already lets publishers create digital “showcases” for books that include their cover, description, video and other marketing materials, and purchase options. Authors and publishers can sell books directly through the showcase or simply provide links to retailers, and they can track where their sales are coming from. The company added bundling options in December.

Ganxy co-founder Josh Cohen told me that until now, there hasn’t been a good way for publishers to control promotions by giving away ebooks only to a select group of readers and then track how they are accessing that content. With Ganxy’s tool, publishers pay $0.25 per content redemption — $0.05 up front and $0.20 when a user actually redeems his or her free ebook (if that never happens, publishers won’t pay that $0.20).

Glenn Beck’s imprint, Mercury Ink, used Ganxy’s new promotional tools to launch its “Wrath and Righteousness” series. The publisher gave away 45,000 copies of the first ebook in the series to a select group of people.

Ganxy is not the only company to offer some of these services. NetGalley lets readers — usually professional reviewers — request early access to publishers’ upcoming titles; if approved, they can receive a digital galley as an EPUB or Kindle file. Ganxy’s tool is designed to run promotions after books are published, however, and it works for any type of digital content, not just ebooks — though the company is focusing on ebooks and publishers for now.