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How to Use eBook Promo Codes on Google Play

Google Play Books announced in October 2020 that it was rolling out a promo code marketing tool for authors and publishers. This means that authors can create and share promo codes for their eBooks available on Google Play. In this post we’ll explain how the promo codes work, how to create and use promo codes, and the benefits of promo codes.

How do Google Play Books promo codes work?

Google Play Books Promo codes are pretty flexible, which is a great thing for authors. There a three types of promo codes that authors can choose from:

  • Free allows customers to download the book at no cost
  • Percentage off (ebooks only) allows customers to receive a percentage discount off the book’s list price.
  • Fixed price promotion allows customers to purchase the book for a lower fixed price.

After a code is created, it can be shared with readers to redeem on the Google Play store. Google will pay authors 70% of the final price of the book when a reader uses a discount code. So, if a book is normally price at $3.99 and a reader uses a 50% promo code to buy, the author or publisher will see a payout of $1.40.

Authors can also choose whether to create a single promo code that can be used by multiple customers, or generate many unique promo codes that can only be used once.

How to create Google Play Books promo codes

  1. Log in to the Google Play Books Partner Center
  2. Select Promotions and Select Promo Type and choose Promo Code (the first time you do this, you will need top accept the terms and conditions)
  3. Enter the information as prompted, and choose what type of discount you want your promo codes to offer (Free, Percentage, Fixed Price). You will also be prompted to decide what Code Type you want to generate:
    • One code: The same code is used for all customers. Individual customers can only redeem the code once. You will also need to enter the number of times each code can be redeemed.
    • Multiple codes: A unique code is automatically generated for each customer. Individual customers can only redeem their code once.
  4. After you have completed these steps and chosen your code type, click Create code.

How to share Google Play Books promo codes

For One Code promotions:

  1. In the Partner Center, click Promotions.
  2. At the top, click the Promo Codes tab.
  3. Select the promotion you want to share. You can copy the “Play Store redemption URL” that takes the customer to the Play Store with the code already filled out, and you can share the code and the URL play.google.com/redeem for the user to enter the code. Keep in mind that anyone who finds the promo code link can use it, so only share on social media if you are ready for the code to be used and have set a limit on how many times it can be used.
  4. Share on social media, your email list, or however you want to reach readers with your code.

For Multiple Code Promotions:

  1. In the Partner Center, click Promotions.
  2. At the top, click the Promo Codes tab.
  3. Select the promotion you want to share.
  4. To show the codes and corresponding URLs, next to “Codes,” click Download codes (.csv).
  5. Give these codes to individual readers. Make sure let them know the code can only be used once.

To test your promo codes, generate an extra one or use your “one code” to purchase your book in the google play store.

The benefits of Google Play Books promo codes

There are no hard and fast rules around using promo codes for Google Play Books. Different tactics will work best for different authors, but the information below can help inform how you might want to use promo codes.

Generate more downloads/ sales

This is pretty straightforward. Discount your book with a promo code (especially for a limited time), and you will see more sales or downloads than you otherwise would, especially if you promote your promo code to readers.

Boost visibility on Google Play

One benefit of promo codes on Google Play is that they can generate more buzz and activity around your book. When you get more downloads, your book can be boosted up the Google Play Books charts. This can result in more readers seeing and downloading your book.

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