One of the best ways to build up your credentials and to bolster your reputation as an expert in your field is to have a published book. I’m not talking about a free e-book that you give away on your site (which is still valuable albeit in a different kind of way); I’m talking about having a physical printed book that people can actually buy and hold in their hands.
This is why I wrote about the self-publishing experience with CreateSpace a while back. CreateSpace is the easiest way to get your printed book distributed through Amazon, reaching the widest possible audience in the most affordable way. The problem, however, is that it is not possible for you to offer special discounts or coupon codes to your valued readers or other VIPs to purchase your book on Amazon. This was a challenge I recently encountered when I wanted to offer a Black Friday promotion.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can generate coupon codes for your book if people want to buy it through the CreateSpace eStore instead. This form of distribution is an option when you are going through the self-publishing process and it is generally recommended that you sell your book through both platforms. That’s what I did with my book, Beyond the Margins. You can find it on Amazon and through the CreateSpace eStore. It took no extra work.
Creating new coupons for your book on CreateSpace is a reasonably simple process, but it is a little “hidden” in the CreateSpace member dashboard.
The first thing you’ll want to do is click on the title of your book from the main member dashboard to bring up the page above. If you scroll toward the bottom of the page, you will find the link to your book on the CreateSpace eStore. Take note of this URL and save it somewhere.
On that same page, you’ll see the progression of publication steps closer to the top. Under the “Distribute” column, click on the “Channels” link.
That should bring up a page that looks like this. Underneath the CreateSpace eStore section, you’ll find tiny text links for eStore Setup and for Discount Codes. It’s a pretty good idea to customize your CreateSpace eStore and it only takes a couple of moments. When you are ready to proceed, click on the “Discount Codes” link.
CreateSpace has some basic instructions here for how to make your own discount codes. You cannot generate a custom code (like “BFMARGINS”). Instead, CreateSpace generates a random string for you. To do that, click on the “click here” link embedded in the second paragraph on that page. The coupon string is 8 characters in length.
Copy that coupon code and enter it in one of the designated spaces. You can then define the discount type (percentage or dollars off) and the amount (10%, 20%, $2, etc.). Note that the discounted price for your book cannot be lower than the minimum selling price that you can find on your book’s pricing page.
Unfortunately, you cannot set an expiry date for your coupon and you must return to this discount code page in order to delete the coupon manually. It’s hardly ideal, but at least you can offer a discount. It’s also important to note that the coupon code will be valid for all the books in your library and not just for one specific title.
As an added incentive, your royalty is typically higher when someone purchases your book through the CreateSpace eStore than if they purchase it through Amazon. In this way, even when you offer a discount through CreateSpace, you might still generate the same amount of money for each book sold.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, the coupon code JU6TXC26 that you see above for 20% off of my book Beyond the Margins is active, so feel free to use it. 🙂