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I am currently in the process of trying to make my book available for purchase on Amazon and similar services. My hope is to ultimately be able to offer my book in eBook, Print On Demand, and audiobook formats.

So far, in none of the interfaces I have been working with, such as Amazon or CreateSpace, is there a way I can see for sending someone a free copy of the book. I have a number of people that I want to send my book to, some in hopes of getting them to give me a promotional blurb, some in hopes they'll give it a review, and some in gratitude for past help on my book.

I know I could potentially send these people a "raw" PDF copy of my written book, or the MP3 files for my audio book. However, that feels problematic to me for a few reasons, which are a little lengthy, but let's just say it would feel a lot better to say to someone "sure, let me give you a free copy of my book on Amazon", as opposed to, "can I email you a PDF file (that you'll have to figure out how to open on your Kindle or whatever because you're not going to want to read it on your laptop screen)?"

If I have a properly formatted Kindle book, can I make and distribute promotional copies? Can I do it through the Amazon system?

Can something similar be done with audiobooks on Audible?

Lastly, what about Print on Demand?

(I realize I am asking about three different formats, which might justify three different questions. If the community feels that's merited, I can go along with that. But, it's all about how to make promotional free copies, so for now I'm thinking that unifies the question.)

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2 Answers 2

With CreateSpace, you can buy print copies of the book and send them to anyone you want.

If you can make an epub file, you can send that to anyone you like, and they can read it with their favorite reader app.

I use Jutoh to make epub files. There are other apps, but I don't know enough about them to offer a recommendation. Jutoh is awkward, but produces epub files that work flawlessly with Kindle, Kobo, and Smashwords. And I can read them with iBooks and Adobe Digital Editions (though I haven't uploaded them to sell through Apple or Nook yet).

Another approach is to make your ebook available on Smashwords. Then you can create coupons on Smashwords for discounted or free versions, and send those coupons to people.

For Smashwords, you don't have to create an epub file yourself (though I do). You can instead upload a properly formatted Word file, and they will convert it to epub and mobi and maybe a few other formats. Find the Smashwords Style Guide on their site for lots of details about what "properly formatted" means.

Or you could buy a copy yourself from Smashwords (or perhaps download the preview version that they create for you) and send that to people.

If you want to roll your own mobi file (for use with Kindle devices and apps), Jutoh can create those. Or if you already have an epub file, you can use Amazon's free Kindle Previewer app to convert it to mobi format.

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Wouldn't you just have to buy copies of the book and send them out to people yourself? The difference between buying it yourself and sending/giving it to them and somehow allowing them to download it themselves seems negligible.

I don't think it'd hurt to send someone a professional, polished-looking .epub file (and attach some options for e-readers, if you like), but I'd avoid sending .pdfs. .pdfs are a nuisance because they can't be easily reformatted or zoomed for comfortable reading.

You could perhaps buy Amazon gift cards, or create a second instance of your book in Createspace that has no cost and keep the visibility of it set to private? But that seems like a nightmare.

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