The late lamented CreateSpace had its own store (until Amazon shut the store down, a year before it shut CS down) where anyone could order books and we could offer discounts. I put a standing $2 code on my author website, applicable to any book(s) of mine, so that if someone ordered two books, the shipping was covered, and if anyone ordered three books, there was an overall savings. In the six or seven years this offer was in effect, including the golden years of 2011-2013, not one person used a coupon code. So I'm skeptical of their value.
This notion seems promising: "I've seen authors give away book 2 for a mailing list sign up". But isn't that a violation of Amazon's TOS when it comes to ebooks? And how many readers would know how to sideload a mobi file to the Kindle device or app? One could do it with the paperback, I suppose, but that's an awfully expensive way to get a signup.
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