HarperCollins makes it easier for authors to give away their ebooks

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It’s pretty easy for authors to give away advance print copies (galleys) of their books, but, somewhat counterintuitively, there’s not a perfect system for giving away digital copies of a book before it is published. Services like NetGalley and Edelweiss allow publishers to distribute digital galleys to reviewers and bloggers, but authors don’t usually have the same capability. However, a new program from HarperCollins, announced at BookExpo America Wednesday, aims to let authors give away digital, DRM-protected copies of their books for promotional purposes.

Through the initiative, which is called the eInsider Program, authors get “a limited number of e-galleys and finished e-books to be used for marketing and publicity purposes via a HarperCollins-built proprietary  platform. Authors will be given unique, one-time use alphanumerical or QR codes, each of which will allow for the download of a complimentary copy of their books via e.HC.com.” The books are protected by DRM and can only be read through Adobe Digital Editions (which is supported by Nook and Kobo but not Kindle). HarperCollins’ marketing and publicity teams will also use the platform to distribute digital galleys.

“Until now, providing secure digital copies of ebooks directly to authors was difficult,” HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray said in a statement. “The eInsider program and platform allows us to distribute secure ebooks to authors, reviewers, bloggers or any other influential readers in the same way we have always distributed promotional print books at industry fairs and author events.”

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