Gifting a copy of your ebook

gift a copyWhether it is for a prize, or because you are sending it to someone for review, you may need to send your e-book to someone else. Now you may have a mobi file, a PDF of your book or even an ePub version but there are benefits to gifting your reviewer a copy, especially if it is on Amazon.

For those of you unsure how to gift a copy of your book, here is how to do it on both Amazon and Smashwords. For both methods, you will need the recipient’s e-mail address.


To send a copy of your e-book on Amazon, go to your book’s page and click “Give as a Gift” button near the buy button. amazon giftEnter the email address of the person to whom you want to send the book, or you can enter your email address and then forward it to the recipient. (I use this method since my Amazon account is under my real name, and I want to send the book using my pen name.)

The recipient will receive an email that they have reviewed the book as a gift. When they accept it, the e-book will be delivered to their Kindle device or app.

If you are sending this to a reviewer, I have heard that recipients can decline the book and elect to receive a gift certificate instead so make sure you only gift books to people who have expressed a willingness to receive, read and review your book.

Of course by gifting a book, you have to pay full price for the book. But you do receive the royalty from the sale so basically your cost is your sales price less your royalty. If your e-book sells for $2.99 with a 70% royalty, your cost will be just over $.90 (Amazon’s 30% plus a small download charge, usually a few cents). That is a small price to pay, especially when you compare it to the cost of printing and mailing a paper book.

Now you may be wondering why you want to send your book this way instead of just sending them the mobi file. In the case of a reviewer, when they post their review on Amazon, it will note “Amazon Verified Purchase.” Showing this can add credibility to the reviewer.


Now with Smashwords you have two options for giving someone a copy of your book. You can gift them a copy similar to the method above or your can create a coupon making the book free. The good thing about Smashwords is that the reviewer can pick which e-book format they need.

To gift a copy, go to your book page and select “Give as a gift.” smashwords giftYou will enter the recipient’s name and email address, or you can enter your own information if want the notification sent to you. Once you have completed the gift purchase, your recipient will receive an email with instructions on how to redeem their gift. They will need to have a Smashword account to access the book. If they don’t have one, they will be promoted to set up a free account.

If you choose to create a coupon to do a giveaway or to offer review copies, you just have to ensure that the expiration date on your coupon is far enough away that the recipient has time to use it. In other words, don’t make it a few days after you give them the coupon. You will need the expiration date a few weeks away.

12 thoughts on “Gifting a copy of your ebook

  1. Marc Cabot says:

    On SW, you can also create a free coupon, and use it yourself when gifting the book, which enables you to give them a book – and them to post a review as a purchaser – for free.

  2. ABE says:

    I hadn’t thought of most of the points you make – thanks for the information. The cleverest part is how much you benefit from a small contribution to Amazon’s coffers.

    Considering how much of a pain it is to transfer a book to a Kindle from your computer, being able to take advantage of the automatic Kindle wireless transfer should win you points with the reviewer – and start you off on the right foot as someone who cares.

    I have a number of books I need to do this for – transfer to the ereader – and I never seem to get around to it.

    I wonder if sending them an email (which they can open ON the ereader) would also work – but there is nothing in the world like Amazon’s instant transfer. It took me a half hour on B&N the other day before I received a book for my Nook – unacceptable!


    • There’s certainly nothing in MY world like Amazon’s instant transfer because Amazon don’t allow downloads to my country, even for my own book for which I’ve clearly ticked my country in the world rights section.

      As for gifting, the gifting option isn’t available on Amazon UK and on most,(if not all) Amazon sites apart from the US site.

      Thankfully Smashwords don’t play such silly games.

  3. Sam says:

    This is just the advice I needed as I have just started looking for reviews and was surprised to be asked to gift a title.

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  6. […] cost and the cost to you is really low. If you have never given away an e-book, see my post on gifting a copy of your […]

  7. […] but I don’t have a physical book. My novels are all offered as e-books. While I know people can gift e-books, I am not expecting my novels to be under anyone’s Christmas tree this […]

  8. […] is easy to offer a free copy. On Amazon, you can gift a copy of your book. On Smashwords, you can set up a Free Coupon, or you […]

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