When Obama: The Evolution of a President by The Washington Post (Diversion Books) launches today, it will become the first e-book customer to go live at Ganxy, a three-year-old online service that was originally started to sell music. Ganxy’s new goal is to give small and mid-size presses, in particular, an easy way to sell their content online. By using a template on the Website, publishers and authors can create a widget with copy, a photo, and retailer buy buttons that they can link to blogs, Tweets, Facebook, and other forms of social media. The company’s motto, says Joshua Cohen, who cofounded Ganxy with Aleks Jakulin, is: “Create once, use everywhere.”
“Whenever a publisher or a self-publisher launches a book, they want it to be available where ever a customer touches,” adds Cohen. “We see the e-book space as a bigger opportunity to change the way digital content is sold and promoted. We’ve created a simple way for customers to buy a book wherever readers see it.” Although Ganxy sells digital content for its customers—which include Wiley and The Economist—Cohen stresses that “we’re not a retail destination.” He has no interest in the headaches of warehousing or shipping physical inventory. Instead he prefers to make content available through multiple retailer buy buttons, from Amazon to IndieBound and Wal-mart. And the company is willing to continue adding retailers for its customers, who get to choose where to direct readers to make their purchases.
For Cohen, Ganxy—which means “gratitude” in Chinese—is truly a service. In addition to buy buttons, Ganxy allows viewers to subscribe to the publisher or author’s e-newsletters, so that the publisher can keep the buyer’s information. Ganxy also tries to keep both its costs and pricing low. Setting up the widget is free. For books sold directly through Ganxy, the company takes a 10% share of the net. For books sold through the retailer links, Ganxy displays its affiliate links if authors or publishers don’t have their own. Cohen estimates that in a month Ganxy will earn 25% of the affiliate fees.