Selling Ebooks Direct From Your Website

A while ago I was contacted by Joshua Cohen, who is the co-founder and Head of Business Development at Ganxy. He wanted to enable authors to sell their content direct from their website and was looking for input from authors to see how he could build something that would suit them. Since there’s been a lot of talk about this on various forums before, I thought this would be something of great interest to everyone in WG2E land, so I’ve invited Joshua here on this fabulous Wednesday to talk about Ganxy and what  it can do for you.

Take it away Joshua…

It’s easy to start selling direct and connect with your audience

In this post, we’ll look at two of the most important reasons why you should start selling eBooks directly: 1) to earn more and 2) to build direct connections with your audience. Both of these are essential for growing your business and your readership. We’ll go into a bit of detail about Ganxy (ganxy.com, my company), and how our service enables you to start selling directly to your audience from your website, Facebook page, and more in just a few minutes.

Earning more from sales

Amazon and other retailers can sometimes do a great job helping customers discover an author’s books. When customers find your books and buy from retailer sites, the fees that you pay them could be justified. But today’s successful self-published authors spend countless hours marketing and promoting their books, building a following and an audience. Wouldn’t it seem logical that you – the author – shouldn’t give away the 30-65% that the retailers take for traffic you’ve created? You should keep a much higher percentage, like the 90% of net sales that Ganxy gives you when your audience buys eBooks directly from you.

Building direct customer connections

Once a customer buys from Amazon or any major retailer, they become the retailer’s customer, not yours. Not only are you cut off, but the retailers then market more books and products to your customer! Shouldn’t you, the author, be able to build a long-lasting relationship with that customer? Don’t you think that eBook buyers would be interested in hearing more from you, getting bonus content, or other goodies? One advantage to direct sales – and a crucial piece of functionality – is giving your customers the option to maintain their connection with you by sharing their email address.

A simple solution for self-published authors

Ganxy designed its direct-sales solution with the needs of self-published authors in mind. You can go to ganxy.com and set up a Showcase just like https://ganxy.com/i/71658 at no cost. Our goal is for you to be able to sell eBooks directly wherever you promote your book. For this reason, Showcases can not only be dropped right onto your website (e.g.http://thomaswaite.com/#!/buy/ ), but they can be shared, emailed, and even embedded on Facebook pages and blogs. As seen in the above example, you can also add links to other book retailers so your audience has the choice of buying as they prefer.

Ganxy’s grand vision is that we take care of the entire commerce experience so you can focus on writing and marketing your books. We handle everything from payment processing, to hosting and delivering your files, to customer support. You can upload any eBook file format(s) you’d like and we’ll provide your customers with guidance to access their purchases on their reading device or app. We even provide customer support in case customers have any questions. Ganxy charges just 10% of net sales, where the net of any sale is the cost of the book minus the payment processing fee (generally about 5%). If you’d like to use retailer links in your Showcase there’s no charge, meaning you keep the full proceeds for any sale through another retailer.

We’re excited to introduce you to Ganxy and we’d love to hear from you, especially with any feedback that you have about the product. We’re trying to build the best possible product we can for authors like you!

About Joshua

Joshua Cohen is a co-founder and Head of Business Development at Ganxy. Ganxy is dedicated to making it easy for authors and publishers to promote their work, sell digital content directly, and connect directly with their audiences.

******

Thanks so much, Joshua. It looks fab! I’ve set up a Ganxy featured book on my Facebook page here for you to see.

It’s your turn out in WG2E land! – Are you selling direct from your website already? Would you like to add this facility to your website?

Happy Writing!

Sibel XX

Sibel Hodge is the author of bestselling romantic comedy Fourteen Days Later. She has 8 cats and 1 husband. In her spare time, she’s Wonder Woman! When she’s not out saving the world from dastardly demons she writes quirky romantic comedies, mysteries, and children’s books (with the odd thriller thrown in). Her other books include My Perfect Wedding, The Baby Trap, The Fashion Police (Amber Fox Mystery), Be Careful What You Wish For (Amber Fox Mystery), How to Dump Your Boyfriend in the Men’s Room (and other short stories), It’s a Catastrophe, and A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey.
Her work has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008, Highly Commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009, Runner up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Comp 2009, and nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements in 2010 by The Romance Reviews. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the Top 40 Books About Human Rights by Accredited Online Colleges.

EasyFreeAds Blog News Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Comments

  1. I have a question about this because of a discussion I had with the taxing authorities where I live. Is the author the actual seller of the books or does Ganxy operate similarly to Amazon, B&N, et al and pay the author a royalty?

    After investigating the business license required to sell my own books, the fact that I’d need to get zoning to approve usage of my “business address” (my house) to obtain the license, and that I’d be responsible for filing quarterly sales tax returns, I decided selling my books was a major bureaucratic problem that I’d prefer to avoid. I’d lose writing time rather than gaining any from doing this, not to mention possibly falling afoul of the HOA.

    • Sibel Hodge says:

      Wow, that sounds complicated! I’m not from the US so I can’t answer that question. I know Joshua will be popping in today sop hopefully he can give you some info on that :)

    • Joshua Cohen says:

      Hi Elise,

      Thanks for your question — it’s a good one! Ganxy operates as a retailer, similar to Amazon, B&N, and others, where we pay the author a royalty. You shouldn’t need to do any of those complex things that you described.

      The process is very straightforward: you set up your books on Ganxy, promote them through your website and elsewhere (Facebook, Twitter, email list, etc) to help generate sales, and then get paid a royalty.

      Please let me know if you have more questions!

      Best,
      Josh

    • Elise … you do NOT need to get a zoning variance to use your home as your business!!! My day job is an attorney and municipal zoning is one of my sub-specialties. However, there are certain criteria you either should or must meet:

      1. You must properly register your business with your town clerk … usually a $25 ‘DBA’ fee. It a simple 1-2 page form you fill out. Be sure to write ‘no business inventory kept at this address’ or you’ll get their inventory tax form every year;
      2. You SHOULD get a post office box. For around $39/year you can prevent wingnut stalkers from showing up at your door. Use THAT as your business address;
      3. Zoning criteria for ‘in home businesses’ vary from town to town. However, the main criteria most towns look for is ‘car trips per day.’ If the only car that shows up in your driveway is yours and customers never (or almost never) show up at your house as is the case for most self-published authors, you do NOT need a business license. Whoever told you that is WRONG.
      4. The second criteria most towns look for is whether or not you have any employees. If you are your own employee, you do NOT need to get a zoning approval;
      5. You MUST register to collect and forward sales tax to your state department of revenue if you live in a state that collects sales tax. However, you only collect/pay taxes on addresses or people you sell to who live or are in your state. You can fill out this form online and it will come in the mail. It is really easy to fill out;
      6. You MUST register your business with the IRS to get an EIN number. Once again, it is really easy to fill out and free;

      That will be $600 for the legal advice, please :-) No … really. It’s not hard to do things right and by being properly registered as a ‘DBA’ business it will make your tax accountant happy when you try to expense that weekend-long trip to the Romance Writers of America conference or geek-class you took in Search Engine Optimization off of your royalty proceeds.

      • Whoops … paragraph 3 … should read ‘do not need a ZONING VARIANCE’ not ‘business license.’

      • Joshua Cohen says:

        Hi Anna,

        Thank you for providing such detailed information on this topic!

        Regarding point 5, the responsibility of collecting and reporting sales tax falls onto Ganxy, since we are technically a retailer that is processing the entire transaction with the people who buy your eBooks. This works in the same way as retailers such as Amazon and B&N, where they collect payments from buyers and deliver the purchased eBook files to them, and then you get paid a royalty. The main difference is (as mentioned above), ganxy.com is not a consumer destination; we want your audience to buy on your website, Facebook page, blog, etc. so you can control the relationship. We give you the tools to do this.

        Thanks,
        Josh

  2. I will definitely be checking out your website. It sounds like the next step to truly being an independent publisher.

  3. Julie Day says:

    It does sound so much easier than other ways to do it. Will probably look into it later this year when I’m not so busy.

  4. This is something I’ve thought about doing, especially when the rumor mill starts it’s inevitable every-so-often churning about Amazon dropping the royalty rate, but it always seemed too complicated, not to mention expensive. The questions that immediately comes to my mind are:

    1) I’d want to confirm that Ganxy provides writers with a Form 1099 for tax reporting at year’s end.
    2) Does Ganxy allow for writers to offer free eBooks, either permanently or as special limited-time promotions?

    Definitely worth a look! I’m getting into a very busy period right now, but I’ll definitely be checking it out! Thanks.

    • Joshua Cohen says:

      Hi Bettye,

      I’d be happy to answer your questions:

      1) Yes, Ganxy provides writers with a Form 1099 for tax reporting at year’s end (in the case that the writer earns $600 or more in royalties during the year, which is the requirement by the IRS).
      2) We’ll be releasing this feature in a few weeks (Dec. 2012). Best way to stay informed is to inscribe to our blog at http://blog.ganxy.com and you’ll get notified when the feature is released.

      It only takes about 3 minutes to set up a Showcase (at no cost), so you may want to give it a try, see what you think, ask us questions, and take it from there. Your feedback helps us make improvements so that the service is even more valuable for you, so we invite you to tell us what you think.

      Best,
      Josh

  5. D.D. Scott says:

    Thanks sooo very much for this, Sibel, and Welcome to The WG2E, Joshua!!!

    This is perfect timing as I’m really, really wanting to do this and just hadn’t found a great vendor yet!!! Problem solved!!!

    I’ll definitely be contacting you in the first part of 2013, Joshua!!!

    P.S. If you can both check back tomorrow, I think you’ll have a ton more peeps popping in. For some reason, Google didn’t send this out today to our huge subscriber database. So they’ll get the link to this post in the morning!!! :-)

  6. Joshua Cohen says:

    Nice to be in contact with you, D.D. Looking forward to more comments tomorrow!

  7. Do I have to be tech savvy to do this?
    Do I provide you with the different versions: mobi, epub, etc.?
    Do I have to provide ISBN’s or do you provide?

    This sounds like the next best step, Joshua. Thanks for the info.

    • Joshua Cohen says:

      Hi Consuelo,

      1) No, you don’t have to be tech savvy. To get started, you can create a stand-alone Showcase page like https://ganxy.com/i/71658 just by entering information about your book when you go to http://ganxy.com. We provide guidance for setting up that Showcase on your website, blog, or Facebook page (if someone else designed/maintained your page, you may need to contact them). Either way, we’re always available to help.

      2) You can upload as few or as many eBook file formats as you’d like (although we recommend epub, mobi, and pdf to give buyers the best experience).

      3) We don’t provide ISBN numbers, but you also don’t need them to sell via Ganxy, just the eBook files.

      Let us know if you have any other questions.

  8. L.C. Giroux says:

    As someone that has set up all of their books with Ganxy I can tell you they are great to work with and their platform couldn’t be easier. What I love is that their widget really looks great and works like a charm so a reader going to my site doesn’t automatically think Indie but Professional which is what I want them to think, because you know, I am!
    You can see how it looks in action on my site http://www.lcgiroux.com/books if you click on any of the titles that will take you to the specific book page. I included a preview with all of mine and I do my own formatting so I offer as many file types as they will let me. If you have everything you need Joshua isn’t kidding about the 3 minutes it takes to set up.

    • Joshua Cohen says:

      Thanks, L.C.!

    • Merry Bond says:

      Wow! That looks terrific, L.C. And I love that you have a review there — that is the one thing that readers would miss out on if they bought directly through Ganxy. And you’ve got a link there to subscribe to your website/blog — terrific!
      Ok, definitely looking into this! Thanks!

      • Joshua Cohen says:

        Hi Merry,

        Thanks for that comment. You can include any review text within the description in the Showcase and we’ll be working on ways to feature reviews more prominently within the Showcase.

        Best,
        Josh

  9. Sibel, I love that couple that are using your book to do new things. What a great selling tool!

  10. Okay, I’m just getting coffee in me and I might have missed this or misunderstood but how are you different from selling on Amazon. I drive traffic to you, I drive traffic to Amazon. You both take a cut.

    • Joshua Cohen says:

      Hi Ty,

      As far as selling eBooks is concerned, we’re not a retail destination like Amazon is. In other words, customers don’t go to ganxy.com to find products, they go to your site, blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed to buy.

      Since you’re driving the traffic, you keep much more of every sale (90% of net sales) when customers purchase via Ganxy, and you have the potential to connect directly with your customers so you can build your readership and promote future books to them. The big retailers won’t give you your customers’ email addresses.

      Feel free to contact me directly if you have any more questions and I’d be happy to discuss.

      Best,
      Josh

  11. This sounds like a great idea. I’ve been looking for a way to sell directly from my website, so I’ll be definitely checking this out.

    One question: I live in Canada. Will I need to send a completed W-8BEN form like I had to with Smashwords and Amazon so the IRS doesn’t take 30% of royalties?

    Now I’m off to subscribe to the blog and read more about this. Thanks.

    • Joshua Cohen says:

      Hi Diane,

      Yes, you can send us a completed W-8BEN form like you’ve done before with other retailers. Email us at support@ganxy.com once you’ve created your account and we’ll provide you with a mailing address where you can send the form to…then you’ll be all set.

      Best,
      Josh

      • Thanks, Josh. I set up my account and showcased a book in about 30 minutes. That time included formatting my book into Mobi, posted the link to my blog and setting up that block on my Facebook page.

        By this time next week, I should have all my books on there.

        I’ll email you later tonight to get the address. Thanks.