The following FAQs should answer most questions you have as narrators, authors, publishers and PR personnel wanting to list giveaways at AudioFreebies.com. If you have further questions, please send us an email by completing the form on the Contact page.
Not as many as a year ago! Audible/ACX used to pay authors and narrators a royalty for each code redeemed for ACX exclusive contract audiobooks. Then they changed the system so that any audiobook published after 26 March 2019 was no longer eligible for royalty-paying promo codes. Since that time, the number of codes requested and the rate of new listings being added at AudioFreebies has dropped, as authors and narrators are no longer scrambling to give away as many codes as possible, and listeners are now being asked to only take a code if they intend to leave a review. Gone are the days of listeners grabbing 'as many free audiobooks as you want'! Most authors and narrators now have the expectation that listeners will only take a code if they are going to leave a review. In addition, ACX no longer provides 100 US and 100 UK promo codes. The maximum number of codes available now is 25 or 50, depending on whether specific criteria are met.
So what does that mean for my chances of giving away codes if I list with AudioFreebies?
All other things being equal:
- Listings WITHOUT a "Reviewers Only" tag (so listings NOT asking for a review) will have significantly more requests, than those that DO require a review.
- Listings that make it easier for listeners to grab a code immediately will have more requests than those that don't. (So 'code displayed on screen' listings generally have more codes distributed than 'code emailed' listings; with 'code displayed after form submission' listings somewhere between the two).
- As always, books in popular mass-appeal genres will distribute more codes than those in niche not-so-wide-appeal genres.
- As always, books with professional-looking covers that convey the genre of the audiobook, will distribute more codes than those that don't.
There are always exceptions to the rules, but those are the typical things we see.
As at January 2021, there are over 1000 active giveaways listed at AudioFreebies. Once listings run out of US codes, they continue to be listed as "UK Codes Only" and (if they are mass-appeal books) generally continue to receive a trickle of UK code requests over the subsequent months.
Google analytics shows a recent 3-month period (mid-October 2020 to mid-January 2021) there were 50,608 page views (between 260 and 900 pages each day – an average of 550 pages per day), by 5730 visitors over 20,054 sessions in that 3-month period. Over that period, 16% were returning visitors, and 85% were new to the site. We usually have 500 to 700 individual users per week.
67% of visitors are from the USA; 8% from the UK, 4% from Canada, 2.5% from Australia, 2.5% from India and the rest from other countries.
As at mid-January 2021, across all audiobooks listed, AudioFreebies generally distributes 50 to 130 "code displayed on screen" promo codes each day; 7 to 15 "code displayed after form submission" promo codes each day; and between 3 and 46 'code emailed' codes each day. This is a drop on what it was a year ago, partly due to people now being asked not to take a code unless they are going to leave a review, and partly because less authors and narrators are listing their giveaways, so there are fewer 'new' listings for 'the regulars' to choose from.
There are now some listings which receive zero requests or only 1 or 2. These are generally niche interest books – often non-fiction on topics without wide appeal. So authors and narrators need to be realistic about the current climate and what returns they are likely to get for their investment at AudioFreebies. Even if you don't receive any requests, I can offer you lot of people seeing your book cover, plus your book cover visible on a high-traffic website for months (even years) into the future.
Wide variances in the numbers of requests per day (particularly for 'code emailed' listings) are caused by variations due to the time of the week (highest distributions are near and on the weekends) and by a new listener binge-requesting many books on the same day.
When ACX/Audible paid narrators and authors for promo code redemptions, although it provided a much-needed return for under-performing royalty share books, it did incredible damage to our industry by devaluing our work - by teaching listeners that they could expect audiobooks to be free, and they could grab as many free audiobooks as they liked without even having to leave a review in return. Now we have to undo that damage and re-educate listeners that they again need to leave a review if they want to continue receiving free audiobooks. Until the majority of the 'no-review-required' promo codes are depleted, it will continue to be an uphill battle to get listeners to take a code in return for a review.
If your giveaway doesn't ask for a review, is 'code displayed on screen', has a professional-looking, genre-appropriate cover and is in a popular genre such as romance, mystery, thriller, paranormal, sci-fi, gamelit or even true crime, you could distribute 20 codes within a couple of days or so, but if your listing requires a review, you might only receive 5 requests in total. That's how tough the situation is at present.
If your book requires a review, is in a non-mass-appeal genre, or is 'code emailed' or 'code displayed after form submission' it may be possible that you could receive zero requests. If this happens, I will work with you to try to see if we can help, but be warned that it's harder to distribute codes and receive reviews than it was – and that won't change greatly until all the 'no-review-required' codes are gone and the public again realises they will have to review if they want free audiobooks.
I wish I could improve those numbers, but my job is to make a place where people who have codes to give away can meet up with people who want them. I can't force anyone to take your codes, or write a review. Gradually, as people run out of 'no-review-required' codes, they will request 'reviewers only' books in greater numbers and be happy to leave reviews.
AudioFreebies is flexible and understanding about your wishes to use alternatives to our website. If you wish to use another service, you can use both simultaneously (provided you have unique codes allocated for AudioFreebies that you haven't provided elsewhere) or you can temporarily 'hide' your listing at AudioFreebies so that it no longer shows up until you advise us to 'unhide' it. For manual code delivery methods, you can probably manage the code distributions yourself, and send out a code for any email requests that come through (provided you have codes left). For Automated code delivery, you may need to modify the codes you have listed with us, so that AudioFreebies only has codes that are unique to it, and are not listed elsewhere. If you cannot provide codes that are unique to us (I know at least one of the other services asks for your entire list of codes, in which case you can't provide codes to us that aren't listed elsewhere), let us know use the Manage My Listing form to let us know, so that we can temporarily hide your listing at AudioFreebies until you advise otherwise.
You can also use that form to request codes be returned or released by us back to you (so they are no longer on our list of available codes to be given away, so you can then allocate them to another service or give them away yourself). For Automated code delivery listings, providing codes that are unique to AudioFreebies and are not available anywhere else is especially important because at AudioFreebies (unlike some of the other sites) requesters cannot just grab another code if the first code they're given doesn't work or is showing as already redeemed. So we ask that the codes we have on hand are unique to us and have not been given out elsewhere. So if you want to run a giveaway elsewhere and you will be using any of the codes you've allocated to AudioFreebies, either ask us to hide your listing (temporarily, for as long as you like - just let us know if/when you want us to 'unhide' it so it is back up on the site) or let us know which codes are 'ours' and which you'd like back so you can use them elsewhere. Use the Manage Listing/ Remove Listing / Remove Codes form to let us know these details.
If you are the author, narrator, producer or publisher of an audiobook and you have been allocated promotional codes from Audible or giveaway codes from Findaway Voices, you are invited to list the audiobook at AudioFreebies.com by submitting the form on the Add an Audiobook page, which is under the menu for Authors/Narrators. We’ll code your submission in the correct format, then include your listing within 48 hours.
There are several choices for methods of code distribution, so you can choose the method which suits your giveaway best.
Automatic Code Distribution (code displayed on screen)
You upload your promo codes to use via an easy-to-use form. Each time a requester clicks on a US or UK code button on your book's dedicated page, a code is displayed on screen, together with the link where the requester can redeem the code. Each distribution is tied to a requester's IP address, so if the requester clicks on the button again, the same code is shown to them (provided they haven't changed IP address). This method does not include any capture of requester statistics or data. This method suits busy authors, narrators and publishers who want their codes distributed with minimal effort and who aren't interested in tracking where their codes go or adding extra marketing material or personalisation.
Manual Code Distribution (code emailed by author/narrator)
A requester submits their name and email address, which triggers an automated email already filled with boilerplate text so you can just click Reply; paste in a promo code; delete some extraneous material/instructions; and press Send. This method involves capturing the email data of the requester. This method suits authors, narrators and publishers who like to vet who they're giving codes to; who like to track code redemption; and who want to personalise and/or add extra marketing material (mail list invitations, website links, offers for extra audiobook codes, etc) to each email sent with a code.
Automated with Form Submission (code displayed on screen after requester submits form)
A requester submits a form stating their name, email address, code region and a link to their Goodreads or Audible reviewer page, which triggers an automated email with these details to be sent to the author/narrator who listed the book at AudioFreebies. The requester is then taken to a screen where a promo code for the region selected is displayed. This method is a ‘set and forget’ low maintenance method for the lister, but does encourage accountability by the requester and provides details of who has received codes. This method involves capturing the email data of the requester. This method suits busy authors, narrators and publishers who want a ‘set and forget’ system; who want a record of where their codes went; and who want to encourage more reviews while discouraging 'code-bingers' who request codes and then don't redeem them.
From January to March 2020, most of our general interest, wide-appeal fiction audiobooks with Audible US region codes available and which are not marked as "Reviewers Only", received between 10 to 25 requests within the first 48 hours; and 20 to 40 requests within the first week. Variation was due to popularity of the genre, cover, author, etc. From mid-April onwards, numbers of request have dropped by 30 to 50%, most likely due to changes in the numbers of new listings available, due to changes in Amazon's code redemption program meaning authors and narrators have less codes available and are keen to distribute codes to people who are likely to leave a review.
There is also variation due to the method of code distribution. Manual code delivery listings (where codes are emailed by the narrator/author to each requester) receive fewer requests, but a higher proportion of those requests result in code redemptions (generally 90 to 100% - the reason being that since people gone to the trouble of filling in a form and waiting for a code to be emailed, they generally really want the audiobook). Codes displayed on screen have a faster rate of code distribution, but often a lower proportion of those codes are redeemed (estimates run about 50 to 85% of US codes displayed on screen are redeemed, and 40 to 75% of UK codes. Possible reasons for this include it being almost too easy for requesters to 'code-binge' and grab codes for books that they later don't end up redeeming).
Typical numbers for a popular genre book (paranormal romance, for instance) with US codes available and without the "Reviewer's Only" tag, listed in the first quarter of 2020, could burn through 25 codes in the first day for automated code delivery (codes displayed on screen); or 12 to 18 requests for manual code delivery (code emailed). Numbers of requests in April have dropped by about one-third. Numbers of requests drop off over time as the audiobook gets lower down the list on the Home page, however AudioFreebies' comprehensive search facilities mean requests will continue to dribble in for months after the book has been listed. In addition books can be 're-vamped' through listing them as a 'Featured Find' at the top of the Home page to get new eyes on them months after they've been listed. We're also working on a new way for older listings to be seen, with the ability for authors/narrators to relist their books in a dedicated area for older listings that still have codes available.
Titles including a "Reviewers Only" proviso receive fewer requests, with the number of requests largely dependent on genre. Popular Mass-appeal fiction titles do well, typically receiving 5 to 20 requests in the first week. Books that are more niche receive less - typically 2 to 8.
Titles from Findaway Voices and titles having UK Codes Only available (with no US codes to give away) receive less requests. Our requests for UK codes is about 8% of compared to 92% for US codes. Findaway Voices giveaways average around 8 to 10, though we have had two Findaway titles receive over 50 requests, and one Findaway title receive only 2 requests, so it really depends on the appeal of the book, in terms of genre, author, cover, etc.
As at April 2020, there are over 1000 audiobooks listed on the site. From January to March 2020, across all audiobooks listed, AudioFreebies typically received between 100 and 400 combined requests for codes emailed and codes displayed on screen per day. Number dropped by around one-third in April due to the changes in code redemptions and code availability from March 26 onwards. Variations in numbers seem to be mainly dependent upon the day of the week, with highest numbers on Fridays and Sundays.
If you have selected Manual code delivery and you don't see any emailed requests in your Inbox within 24 hours, check your spam, junk and unwanted folders. Many of our Manual code delivery authors/narrators have found their requests initially go to spam, junk or unwanted (particularly for gmail addresses!)
If you've selected Automated Code Delivery (code displayed on screen), you can check how many codes are still to be distributed from the batch you uploaded by going to the Google Sheets documents detailed under the heading "Automated Code Delivery: How Can I Tell How Many Codes I Have Left?" If you need a link to this Google Sheets document, email us via the Contacts page.
A number of authors and narrators have asked if they can relist audiobooks to bring them back to prominence on the site, so we've put in a number of methods to accommodate this. The reason we haven't allowed books to be relisted as a 'new listing' is to prevent frustration for our regular requesters having to scroll through books they've already seen, and to minimise the chance of authors/narrator receiving repeat requests from people who've already been given a promo code for a book. We are working on a solution though. There are several ways you can help ensure you audiobook keeps being seen:
1. Ensure your book is categorised as widely and accurately as possible for every criteria listed on the Mother of All Searches page. This will ensure when requesters drill down into search categories your book will show up, even if it was listed months earlier.
2. Place your title in a Featured Find slot at the rotating carousel at the top of the Home page. Details on how to do this and cost are under Book a Featured Find Slot under the Author/Narrator/Publisher menu.
We are currently working to produce a new section dedicated highlighting earlier listings where authors/narrators can relist their older titles to again give them prominence. We anticipate this service should be available by May/June 2020.
For audiobooks published prior to 26 March 2020, a request for reviews was generally not emphasised, since many listers were more interested in code redemptions to gain royalty income, rather than gaining reviews. For audiobooks published after 26 March, however, changes to ACX conditions resulting in only 25 to 50 codes available for each region and no royalties paid, mean there is again an emphasis on gaining reviews. It is against Amazon/ACX/Audible policy for anyone to require a review in exchange for providing a code, so we cannot ask that requesters must leave a review. But we can encourage them to, and we can try to weed out those that have no intention of doing so.
There are several things you can do to maximise the number of reviews, (usually at the expense of the number of redemptions):
When listing your audiobook, if you select that you want an emphasis on reviews over redemptions, we will include a notice at the top and bottom of your listing asking that only those people intending to leave a review within a month should request or take a code.
Using a manual code delivery system (where codes are emailed to each requester) and using a form that includes a space for each requester to include a link to their Audible or Goodreads reviewer page, means you can vet each requester before a code is sent, and send codes only to those that you feel are a good chance for gaining a positive review. We do ask that you reply to each requester, though, to either send them a code or apologise that on this occasion you won't be providing them a code (and you can use this opportunity to perhaps point them to your mailup list for other offers, etc) Note that if you want to use a Manual code delivery system but you don't have time to email out codes or vet requesters, we can provide these services for you for a fee. Contact us via the contact page, if you wish to employ us for this service.
For automated code delivery (code displayed on screen) there is no opportunity to vet requesters prior to them receiving a code, however you can increase your chances of weeding out those that are not regular reviewers by only displaying a code on-screen AFTER the requester has filled in a form providing their name, email address and a link to their reviewer page at Goodreads or Audible. By asking each requester to take this extra step, you may reduce the number of codes distributed, but hopefully improve your chances of gaining reviews for those codes. This will likely not yield as many reviews as vetting each requester, as you can with the manual (code emailed to each requester) system, but it will hopefully help weed out those that have no intention to review from just grabbing a code.
There is a cost to list a title at AudioFreebies.com. This is to pay for our time in coding, checking and uploading the book details, maintaining the site, altering a title's details when things change, and providing support and information. Pricing is listed on our How It Works and Add an Audiobook pages.
If you're a busy author/narrator/publisher who wants a low-maintenance solution to code distribution without vetting who gets a code or trying to do extra marketing or giveaway extra items or build relationships or a fan base with your code recipients, then Automated code distribution is likely to suit you better than Manual.
If you're someone who has more time available, or is interested in getting more fans or reviews or providing extra codes or marketing or newsletter signups or any other links or material in with your code distributions, then Manual code delivery, (where you receive an email each time someone requests a code and you then email a code out to them) will likely suit you better.
Your decision may also be dependent on when your audiobook was published. For audiobooks published prior to 26 March 2020, for which ACX is paying you a royalty for each code redeemed, your emphasis is probably on getting as many of those codes as possible distributed and redeemed to provide you with extra income from code redemptions. But for audiobooks published after 26 March 2020, your emphasis will likely be on maximising the number of reviews you gain from your promo codes. If this is the case, check out our FAQ on maximising reviews to gain information on how to improve your chances of gaining reviews when you're listing titles at AudioFreebies.
When considering the method you use, you may also want to consider the ease for your requesters plus the quality of the requests you receive. It's a lot quicker, easier, more immediate and convenient for a requester to receive a code displayed on screen, rather than to wait for an email. However you may also wish to consider your 'strike rate' - what proportion of the codes you distribute are redeemed compared to the number given out. Not every code that is distributed will be redeemed, and it seems logical that if someone has to work a little harder to receive a code - filling in a form to provide their contact details and having to wait for an email in order to receive a code - then they must really want that audiobook and intend listening to it. Presumably it's something they think they'll really like, instead of just something they 'may as well get because it's so easy to grab a code'. Codes displayed on screen can sometimes be almost too easy to obtain, and requesters can quickly code-binge to grab many codes at once, and then not get around to redeeming them. So that's another consideration when weighing up which method to use.
I ran an experiment recently with two of my own listings for two romance books - one code emailed and one code displayed on screen. The results were that for the emailed codes, I received 73 requests, and 93% of those codes were redeemed, which is a great strike rate. For the automated code delivery, 46 codes were displayed on screen, but only 60% of the codes displayed were redeemed. Now, this is too small a sample size to make any generalisations, and the books were not similar enough to be able to draw firm conclusions, but it seems logical that making someone work a little harder and be a little more accountable for their free code might mean they want the book a little more than someone who can grab any code for any number of books very quickly. You may wish to conduct your own experiment, and if so, we at AudioFreebies would love to hear your results. (FYI, the details of my results were: Secret of Soriano – automated code distribution – number of codes redeemed was 27 out of 46 codes distributed = 59% of codes displayed were redeemed; Vampire King – manual code distribution – number of codes redeemed was 68 out of 73 codes emailed, which means 93% of codes emailed were redeemed.)
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. They both work, but one may suit your situation better depending on the particular title, and depending on what your business goals and time constraints are.
If your audiobook is listed with AudioFreebies as an Automated Code Distribution listing, then a promo code will be displayed on screen to a requester as soon as they click on the relevant button (there is one button for "US code" and one button for "UK Code" for Audible promo codes; and a button for "Code" for Findaway Voices giveaway codes).
If your audiobook is listed with AudioFreebies as a Manual Code Distribution listing, then as soon as someone clicks 'Submit' after filling in their name, email address and what region they'd like a code for, an email is sent to the person who listed the audiobook on AudioFreebies.com (generally the author or narrator). This email will contain the name of the audiobook being requested, together with the name, address and promo code region of the person requesting the email. The information is presented in such a way that the reply email is already composed for you, and all you have to do is:
- click on Reply to automatically input the recipient's name into the To field
- paste a promo code for the correct region into the pro-forma email
- delete the instructions at the top of the email down to the line indicated
- personalise the email if you wish (eg, request a review, list other audiobooks or your website or a link to your Audible page)
- click on Send.
That's all there is to it. Your promo code will be emailed to the requester including instructions on how to redeem and a request that the code be redeemed within 48 hours. The boiler plate text is included to make it easy for busy authors and narrators to quickly provide a promo code request, but you can personalise this email in whatever way you wish. This direct email contact is a perfect opportunity to further market your work. Add links to your website, a newsletter signup, or your Audible or Amazon pages. Provide a link to your Audible page or a list of other books for which you have codes available and invite the requester to write back to ask for codes for additional books they might like. If you have the time, we suggest you make the most of this direct contact by personalising your emails to add information about your work so you gain new fans.
There are at least three other prominent giveaway sites in addition to AudioFreebies. All of these four sites are very good at helping distribute promo codes, and you will likely do well using any of these services.
Each site is, however, a little different from the other ones, and it is our opinion that each site has its own strengths (and possibly weaknesses), depending on what your particular needs are. One of the sites includes a service focussed on encouraging reviews and is building an active, contributing community of listeners and authors/narrators, plus has fantastic contacts and a strong fan base in the romance audiobook industry in particular. Another has an extremely large very customer base, as well as great contacts in the audiobook industry and a very large number of daily visitors, meaning that site can quickly distribute all your codes to a large number of people. But codes can go very fast at that site and requesters can grab as many codes as they want for the same audiobook, so many of the books show no codes available, and there are only rudimentary search facilities provided, making it harder to get eyes on your books once they've been listed on that site for a while. So if distributing your codes fast without worrying about who they're going to and without worrying about continuing to receive requests over time is your goal, then that might be the site for you. (At AudioFreebies, we prefer to target code distribution so each person can only receive one code per audiobook, making it slightly harder for requesters to code-binge by grabbing codes they cannot redeem, and also discouraging code-scammers from grabbing multiple codes for the same book.)
Some sites might give you a better chance of distributing to people who are more likely to redeem your code immediately (rather than just grabbing heaps of codes for 'later' which don't end up being redeemed). Or you may wish to go beyond even that and better target your distributions to find new fans and hopefully enjoy the flow-on benefits of better name recognition and better sales of your other work.
So which site you choose, depends on your business goals. You may consider not just the rate of code distribution, but also the quality of those distributions - the proportion of codes redeemed compared to the number of codes distributed - and whether you're more focussed on short-term code distribution or also receiving requests over the longer-term. In addition, each site may suit your needs at a different time of your book's trajectory, or your own career.
Many authors, narrators and publishers use multiple giveaway sites, but stagger the dates they list a book on each site, so as to have their title towards the top of the pile of each of the sites at different times. So they might list a book on one site, then wait a few weeks before listing the same book on another site. (If you intend to list on AudioFreebies plus on other sites, read the FAQs section on What should I do when I want to use another giveaway site, since there are a few points to note about keeping your listing active at AudioFreebies and using another site. In particular, because AudioFreebies doesn't allow people to take more than one code per book, it's important the codes you provide to AudioFreebies are both unredeemed and unique to us, so if you are using another site, you can request we return codes to you to provide elsewhere (so they're not also on our list) or provide us with codes that are for AudioFreebies only, or temporarily hide your AudioFreebies listing while you run a giveaway elsewhere).
So what are AudioFreebies' strengths, and what can we offer that not every other site can? AudioFreebies offers:
- The ability for requesters to perform incredibly specific simultaneous searches so they can drill down into the long list of past titles to be shown a manageable list of books conforming to their specific wants. These searches only showing listings that simultaneously correspond to multiple criteria including genre, subgenre, audience age, location setting, time setting, graphic content level, audience gender/sexual identity, topics covered, as well as book duration, the region where codes are currently available, the method of code delivery, awards received, whether other books in the series are available, etc. Each search can contain as many or as few of these criteria as the searcher wants to include. This is in addition to being able to perform simple searches by fiction/nonfiction, author, narrator or any words appearing in the title or description. We believe the incredible search facilities are what helps older listings at AudioFreebies continue to receive at least some requests even months after they were originally listed, even though these listings are pages back from the front page, with hundreds of books above them in the general lists. Take a look at our "Mother of All Searches" page to see the criteria on which simultaneous searches can be performed, and you'll see why search facilities (and therefore continued requests over the long term) are a major strength at AudioFreebies, compared to the other sites. Our superior search facilities make AudioFreebies a good choice for continuing to receive code requests over the long-term, as well as for niche or non-mainstream books in addition to the more popular genres.
- The ability to list multiple books from the one series all in one listing. Not only does this save the lister money (a multiple listing for any more than 2 books is cheaper than listing separately), but it also saves requesters time and trouble in that they only need to visit one page to be able to request multiple books from the one series. It also helps all other books on the site in that the series only takes up one slot on the Home page, (as opposed to multiple slots if each book in the series were to be listed individually). (Note that authors/narrators are still free to list each book in the series separately if they wish to, gaining more real estate on the home page. As with most things at AudioFreebies, the choice is yours, depending on which suits your business goals and budget best).
- For each listing, the choice of either automated code delivery (set and forget) or emailed code delivery (where you retain full control and can personalise each email to add extra offers, extra promo codes, additional marketing, newsletter sign-up links or other website links to the emails you send with each code).
- A policy of only listing audiobooks that have a genuine current giveaway running, with codes either currently available or about to become available (in the case of an author/narrator waiting for 10 codes to be redeemed so they can apply for more). This prevents requester frustration from only seeing audiobooks where no codes are available, and prevents requesters having to trawl through books that are not available to get to the ones that are. Once a book has run out of codes at AudioFreebies, it is removed from the site.
- The ability to list books shorter than 2 hours, including children's audiobooks.
- A place to find a slightly less mainstream audience for niche or non-mainstream books. We're probably not the biggest or the fastest code distribution site (but we're not far behind), but we certainly have a wide variety of book types and listing categories, which are easily searchable due to our comprehensive search facilities.
- The ability to giveaway not only Audible promo codes, but also Findaway Voices and Authors' Direct giveaway codes or any other code or giveaway that a rights' holder wishes to conduct (and is legally allowed to conduct).
- Cheaper listing rates.
- Bulk discounts where 2 or more listings are made on the one day.
- Free code uploads for new batches of codes on automated code delivery listings.
- No newsletter list. At this point in time, AudioFreebies does not maintain an email database and does not send out any newsletters.
Promo codes can be given to reviewers or provided to audiobook review sites, bloggers, podcasters, magazines, etc. But now that Audible is providing 100 codes in each region and these codes can now only be redeemed for the audiobook for which they are allocated, many authors, narrators and publishers are seeing the benefit in distributing their codes to general audiobook listeners – sometimes with the hope of gaining a review, and sometimes not. One obvious reason for this is that for narrators and authors who have produced their audiobooks under exclusive distribution royalty share contracts with ACX, there’s a direct financial benefit, in that each redeemed code is paid as though is were a sale, and is counted as a “ALOP” unit on the participant's ACX dashboard. It appears that rates of return for each code redeemed are the same as for an audiobook purchased with an Audible Member Discount, which would make redeemed codes pay 14% of the audiobook's list price for both the author and the narrator of any audiobook jointly produced through an exclusive contract Royalty Share or Royalty Share Plus deal with ACX; and 28% of the full list price for an author who has a Royalty contract of 40% for producing an audiobook through an exclusive deal with ACX.
Gaining income from redeemed codes is a huge incentive to distribute your ACX promo codes, particularly for titles that are not selling well! But many of our participants have noticed a flow-on effect of greater sales in their other audiobooks as well as the one/s listed at AudioFreebies.com. We're not sure why this is. Perhaps it's because of improved visibility or better rankings on the redeemed books or some other unseen factor in Amazon/Audible algorithms for also-boughts or the like. In any case, if you have unused promo codes languishing in your ACX dashboard, we invite you to try using them to get your audiobooks out into the marketplace working for you.
Some of the other giveaway sites allow a requester to grab multiple codes for the same audiobook. We try not to let this happen as AudioFreebies: to allow more people a chance to receive each audiobook; to prevent someone grabbing a code they cannot use since the book is already in their library; and in an effort to discourage scammers and prevent 'code-farmers' from receiving multiple codes for the one book. If a requester clicks multiple times on a US or UK button to receive a code displayed on screen, the system generally serves them up the same code they received previously. This ensures one code per person for each audiobook, and if they have problems with the code they've been given, they must fill in a form with details of their problem, instead of just going back to our website to grab another code.
This serving up of only one code per book to each requester helps prevent anyone scamming the system, and helps prevent codes being distributed unnecessarily to people who cannot redeem them. But it does mean that if a code doesn't work, then the requester cannot just grab another code for that book. This is why the codes you supply to AudioFreebies must to be unique to AudioFreebies and must all be usable, not-yet-redeemed codes. We generally advise waiting a week after distribution before putting a code showing as unredeemed back into the pile to be redistributed (48 hours for the person to redeem the code, and then 4 additional days to allow for ACX's lag of 1 to 4 days to update the ACX dashboard to show a code as redeemed). Or you can test each code yourself before sending them to us. (Instructions on how to test each code are included elsewhere in these FAQs)
If you have a long list of codes not yet distributed at AudioFreebies and you want some of your codes back to use at another website, you can let us know using the Manage My Listing form and we'll release the codes back to you, removing them from our list of codes for use at AudioFreebies, to prevent requesters receiving a code they cannot use.
For listings with Automated code delivery (code displayed on screen) there is a Google Sheets Document that shows how many codes are left from the last uploaded batch of codes for each listing. If you do not have the link for this Google Sheets Document, write to us via the Contacts page and we'll email it to you. (It is also now provided in the automated email you receive when you submit an "Add an Audiobook" form.) The document does not update in real time, and it is updated at least twice daily. The time of the last update (west coast of America time) is written towards the top of the document. Listings on this document are listed alphabetically under a 2-letter or 4-letter code representing the name of the person who listed the code.
You're welcome to upload a new batch of codes at any time by submitting the Upload a New Batch of Promo Codes form. There will be no cost to upload new codes.
The codes will not immediately be available, as they must be manually cut and pasted into the code distribution software before they are live on the site, but they should be operational within a day (usually within a few hours). The updated list you upload is checked against the list you had previously.
You can add in any unclaimed/unredeemed codes from the previous batch PROVIDED they would have been distributed more than a week ago. (We allow a week because we advise each requester that codes must be redeemed within 48 hours, and then the ACX dasbboard has a lag of 1 to 4 day before any redeemed code shows up as redeemed on the ACX dashboard, so if a code is not showing as redeemed a full week after distribution, then it can safely be placed back into the list of codes to be given away).
For this reason, you need to keep track of which codes have been allocated and the date they were allocated. We find it useful if, when you upload a brand new batch of codes, you leave off the unredeemed codes from the last batch you uploaded, but then include those unredeemed codes the next time you upload another batch. This ensures a gap of time has passed so any showing as still unredeemed should be fine to add back into the mix.
Looking at your ACX dashboard does not necessarily provide an accurate depiction of where your codes are at, since there is a lag of 1 to 4 days from when a code is redeemed until it shows up as being redeemed on your ACX dashboard. The best you can tell is what codes had been redeemed at a point in time four days ago. So we ask that you keep a record of which codes you have either given out yourself or provided to us to give out via automated code delivery. You need to put the date you provided the code so that you know how long it has been since it would have been distributed. Allow a week before putting any unredeemed code back into the pile for redistribution. (We allow 48 hours for requesters to redeem the code, then a further 4 days for the redeemed code to show up on your ACX dashboard, hence why you need to wait a week before redistributing any code that has already been distributed but is still showing as unredeeemed at ACX.)
If you wish to test whether a code has been redeemed, you can do so by ensuring you are not logged in to either Audible, Amazon or ACX, and then going to the code redemption page and trying to claim the code yourself. Provided you’re not logged in anywhere (look for “Sign In” at the top right of the code redemption page - if you are logged in don't proceed as the code will redeem to your account) then when you press “Redeem” the page will either show:
- a message that the code has already been redeemed; or
- take you to a login to Amazon screen (which means the code has not yet been redeemed); or
- a message that it cannot redeem this code right now (which usually means it’s the wrong region for that redemption page); or
- a message that the code is for a giveaway that has not started yet (which means it's a newly generated code and you need to wait an hour and try again)
Do not sign in to Amazon at this point or the code will redeem to your account. Instead click 'back' or close the window.
The above is how to ascertain whether a code has been redeemed up until this point in time (since the ACX dashboard is not accurate as it has a lag of up to four days).
Our system is set up to provide giveaways through Findaway Voices Giveaway Codes, Authors Direct and Audible Promo Codes. When you fill out the Add an Audiobook form, there’s a tick-box where you signify whether your codes are from Audible or Findaway Voices/ Authors Direct. In addition, provided you have the rights to give away your audiobook, you can set up a different system so you can run your own giveaway if you wish. Just contact us via the Contact page to discuss how we can set this up.
Audible/ACX.com - Authors, narrators and audiobook publishers who produce an audiobook with an exclusive distribution deal through ACX.com are initially allocated 25 US region promo codes and 25 UK region promo codes. These can be viewed and downloaded via your ACX dashboard. Narrators who have worked under a Per Finished Hour (i.e. paid up front) on an exclusive distribution contract are also allocated promo codes, however they receive no royalty payment when these are redeemed. Once at least 10 of the codes in a region have been redeemed, you may apply for another bundle of 25 codes for that region, up to a maximum of 100 codes per region. When you request additional codes from ACX, they are usually generated within a few minutes, however it can take up to an hour before each new code is redeemable, so you may wish to hold off sending new promo codes for an hour, to ensure the requester can redeem the code as soon as they receive it.
Findaway Voices - If you’ve produced an audiobook through Findaway Voices, you are allocated 30 Giveaway Codes (or 100 if you are part of the Voices Plus program). Details of how to request your codes are available at https://support.findawayvoices.com/portal/kb/articles/how-do-i-give-away-copies-of-my-audiobook-to-groups-or-reviewers. Note that Findaway Voices Giveaway Codes must be listened to via the Authors Direct mobile app, which is only available for users in the United States, Australia, and Canada on iOS and Android (non-Kindle) mobile devices, and may not be used on general mp3 devices or desktop computers.
Each time you add a new listing, you will be able to choose between the 2 distribution systems at the time of listing the audiobook. There is a place on the new "Add an Audiobook" form to select which service you wish to use. The cost for each type of service is the same, allowing each lister to choose the method that best suits them for each individual audiobook.
If you want to know which method to use, check out our FAQ on which is better - manual or automated code distribution.
Most titles will receive requests within a day of listing - those in popular categories often within a few hours! The site averages between 100 and 300 visitors per day of about 4 minutes each visit, generating 50 to 150 promo code requests each day. As soon as someone fills in the form to request your audiobook, an email containing their details will automatically be sent to the email address you listed when you submitted your audiobook. (That’s why it’s very important you double-check the email address you provide when you submit your audiobook to us).
For anyone who finds they don't have any requests within a day, check your spam/junk/unwanted folders. Many times we’ve found that’s where the requests have ended up. For gmail and yahoo addresses, you may have to not only check your inbox folders on your device inbox, but also check at the service provider’s online webmail portal. So if you haven’t received any requests within a day, check your email service hasn't 'binned' the requests by placing them in junk/spam/unwanted folders.
Most titles longer than 3 hours with professional-looking, eye-catching covers in popular genres like Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy will receive requests within a few hours. Most audiobooks listed will receive between 10 and 30 requests over a week or two. Occasionally we have books submitted that do not receive any requests, but this is very rare - usually for titles that have a very narrow or specialised audience; do not have professional or appealing cover art; or are excessively short in duration. We do receive significantly less requests for audiobooks that do not have US codes available. 75% of our site visitors are in the USA.
If you are concerned because you haven't received any emailed requests within a day or two of listing on the site, feel free to contact us via the Contact page so we can perform a check to see how many requests have been received and which email address they have been sent to.
For audiobooks published prior to 26 March 2020, it is our expectation that you will provide a promo code to each person who requests one through AudioFreebies.com, however ultimately it is up to you whether you do so. The site’s purpose is to link those with promo codes to those who want them. Once that introduction is made, (in the form of an email containing the details of each audiobook requester being sent the person who listed the audiobook on the site) it is up to the requester and the lister of the audiobook to take the relationship forward however they wish. AudioFreebies.com provides no guarantee regarding whether or not a promo code will be supplied, how or when that code will be used, or whether an audiobook review will be provided in return, but it is our expectation that authors and narrators will act in good faith in using the service by providing codes to those who request them; and that requesters will act in good faith in requesting promo codes that they will redeem for audiobooks that they will listen to and that they will use the codes in a way that will break no laws (including copyright laws).
For audiobooks published after 26 March 2020, we realise you will likely want to gain as many reviews as possible for your giveaways. If it is your intention to vet who codes are given to by using the Manual Code Delivery (code emailed by the author/narrator to each requester) system, and only providing codes to those you feel will be likely to leave a review, then we ask that you include the "Reviewer's Only" tag on your listing. This will likely result in you receiving fewer requests, but it should weed out many of those who have no intention of leaving a review.
If you receive emailed requests for codes after you have run out of them, we ask that you send a courtesy email to the requester advising that all codes have been distributed. You may choose to offer another audiobook instead for them to request, or leverage the connection in some other way to offer something else, but that is up to you. This situation will be minimised if you let us know in a timely fashion via the Contact page as soon as you have run out of codes in any region, so we can modify your listing accordingly.
Each audiobook produced with an exclusive distribution deal through ACX.com is initially allocated 25 US region promo codes and 25 UK region promo codes. Once at least 10 of the codes in a region have shown up as redeemed in your ACX dashboard, you can apply for another bundle of 25 codes for that region, up to a maximum of 100 codes per region. If you receive more than 25 promo code requests for a region and have not requested additional codes, log on to ACX and request additional codes for that region. Note that it can take several days for redeemed codes to show up as redeemed on your ACX dashboard. Once 10 are showing as redeemed, and you've requested another batch of 25, the new codes are usually generated within a few minutes, however it takes about an hour before they are able to be redeemed, so hold off sending emails to requesters for about an hour after new code generation. Then they should be good to go. Because there's a lag of a day or two between code redemption and the redemption showing up on your ACX dashboard, it can happen that you've run out of codes on your current batch, but cannot yet request a new batch. If this happens, just stockpile your requests and keep checking every day at ACX until you can apply for another batch to email to requesters. If this lasts more than 4 days, you may wish to contact ACX to ask if there's a holdup or error, but in our experience redemptions usually show up within 3 days.
You only need to contact us to say you’ve run out of codes once you’ve either run out of all the codes you can be allocated (100 UK and 100 US region for Audible/ACX and 30 or 100 depending on your deal with Findaway Voices) or if you've distributed all the codes you want to give away at this time. If you have run out of all codes (or all the codes that you want to distribute at that time), then contact us via the Contact page, so that we can either note that only codes in region X remain, or remove your listing altogether if you have no codes at all remaining.
Under the manual code distribution system there's no check to see if a person has already requested a book, and it's up to the author or narrator to check if a requester has already been sent a code for a particular title. For this reason, we suggest authors and narrators keep a spreadsheet of codes and mark down the date each code was sent and who it was sent to. (Control-F or Command F is helpful to search a spreadsheet).
With the automated code distribution system, if a person requests a book more than once, the system check's the person's IP address. If the system has already distributed a code to that IP address, it will re-display the original code again. This should generally prevent multiple codes for the same book being distributed to the one person.
When codes run out under the Manual system, let us know via My Codes Are Low/Finished form, so we can change the listing to UK codes only (if UK codes remain) or remove the book altogether if both UK and US codes are depleted.
With the Automated system, AudioFreebies monitors the number of automated codes remaining and will usually email you when codes are 2 or less in any region. When codes initially run out, subsequent requesters are taken to the Codes Unavailable page, where requesters fill in a form to advise AudioFreebies that codes are depleted. We then ask the author/narrator if they have more codes to upload. If not, we change the listing accordingly. You can upload an updated list of promo codes by filling out the Upload a New Batch of Codes form. There is no cost for uploading new codes. If you notice your codes are running low, you can inform us of the action you wish us to take once they run out by filling in the Manage My Listing form
Authors, narrators and publishers who list their books at AudioFreebies for automated code delivery will also be provided with a link to a google sheets spreadsheet, which will be updated daily with how many codes for each book remain. By viewing the google sheets spreadsheet, authors and narrators using the automated code delivery system can see when their codes are getting low, and when they need to apply for more codes from ACX and upload more codes to AudioFreebies, or ask that the book be marked "UK codes only" or removed using the Manage My Listing form.
For manual code distribution, it’s important that you don’t give the same code out to more than one person. For Automated code delivery, it's important that you don't give the same codes out to more than one giveaway site. No matter how your codes are distributed, you will need a way to track which codes you’ve given out and which you haven’t. If you've produced your audiobook through ACX, then an easy way to do this is to download the codes into a CSV file from your ACX dashboard (log in to ACX, click on “View Sales Dashboard”, then click on "Promo Codes" at the top under the total number of books sold. Click on any title’s “Get Promo Codes” button. Then on the right, click on “Export as CSV”). This file will open in Excel or any other spreadsheet program, such as OpenOffice. From here, you can mark next to each code when you give it away or when you upload it to any of the giveaway sites if you're using an automated code delivery system.
As well as including the date you provided the code, you need to include where it went to - so either the giveaway site you uploaded it to, or in the case of a manual code, you should include the requester’s name and/or email address. That way you know who you gave the code to, and not give it to anyone else unless it remains unredeemed for more than a week after it's been distributed. For manual code delivery systems, including the requesters name and email address means you can see if you have anyone who has inadvertently requested the same book twice, and can write back to tell them why you're not providing a second code.
In this way, you will have a spreadsheet page or file for each audiobook giveaway. When you request new codes from ACX, export a new CSV file, so you can add the new codes into your spreadsheet for that title. This is also a useful time to see which codes you've given out haven’t been redeemed after an acceptable time, so that you can add those codes back into your list of available codes to give away.
Firstly, so a ‘sale’ is made immediately rather than months down the track (adding a small amount to the author’s or narrator’s income), but also so that we can be sure the codes are being used. If a code is not showing as redeemed after a week of having been distributed, the author or narrator can reallocate that code to someone else or put it back into the pile of codes to be distributed. The reason we wait a week after distribution before assuming a code will remain unredeemed is that the requester is given 6 hours to redeem the code, then we wait a further 4 days (since it takes up to 4 days for ACX to show a redeemed code as being redeemed in the ACX dashboard).
If you have further questions, send us an email by completing the form on the Contact page.