Sunday, July 31, 2011

Using Smashwords Coupons to Promote Your E-book

As some of your know, I've recently made Raggedy Chan available as an e-book on Smashwords. (I also made my e-book available for Nook and Kindle.) I have to say, Smashwords is quickly turning out to be my favorite of the three. Even though I griped about the lengthy file prep process here, they are by the far the most author friendly. Here's some of the neat things Smashwords does:

1. Sends you an email every time a book is sold

2. Sends you and email every time someone writes a review about your book

3. Offers a Coupon Generator so that you can generate coupons to promote your book

#3 is by far my favorite so far, although I do appreciate the updates on book sales and reviews. (It's pretty nice to pop into my inbox at lunchtime and see a book has sold!) My writing colleague Lindsay Buroker, who I interviewed here, was kind enough to include a coupon for Raggedy Chan in her newsletter. Recipients of her newsletter were able to use the coupon to download my book for free. I made the coupon good for 2 weeks.

I wasn't sure if there would be any interest or not. To my surprise, 16 people cashed in the coupon and downloaded the book. I even garnered one lovely review, which you can read here. I know 16 downloads doesen't seem like much, but if I sold 16 print copies of my book in 2 weeks I'd be frothing at the mouth with excitement. So for my first time out of the gate, I'm pretty excited.

I decided to give coupons another try. This time I posted the coupon in the Mobile Reads Forum (another tip from Lindsay Buroker). I  made the coupon good through next Friday. If any blog readers out there are interested in downloading a free copy of my book, use Coupon Code XC24N at Smashwords. I'll report back on results.

Generating a coupon through Smashwords is so easy you could probably do it blindfolded. Simply go to your Dashboard, go to the book you want to generate a coupon for, and click "Coupon." You're taken to a form that lets you enter the coupon amount (100% off, 50% off, etc). The form also allows you to enter the dates for the coupon. And wa-la. You're done. Click "done" and Smashwords spits out the coupon code. Too bad Amazon and B&N don't offer a simliar program for authors.

Any other writers out there have stories to share about using Smashwords coupons?


  1. Yay, glad some folks gave it a try! Giveaways seem to really help when you're hoping to get those first few reviews.

    I also suggest giving away some more copies of the first book when you have a second one for folks to go on to buy. Whenever I give away some copies of EE, I usually have some kind readers who go on to buy EE2 and Encrypted for full price. :)

  2. Smashwords' coupon program is pretty cool. You can discount for a specific period of time and opt out whenever you want to. I'm currently running a $1.00 discount on my "Grandma Hazel's funny Funny Jokebook" at:

    I agree with Camille the formatting process will drive you to tequila&obscenities but the ebook opportunity at Smashwords is for real. If the formatting proves too difficult check out a list of formatters (and illustrators and editors) who are approved by Smashwords at:

    For other tips on ebook formatting and marketing check out "Adventures of an e-Book Bookie" at:

    Best of luck with "Raggedy Chan".

    Rob Loughran
    Windsor, CA