How To Failsafe Your ACX Narrator Promo Codes

UPDATE: Gifting is no longer a thing at Audible, but I’m leaving this now irrelevant article up so that you can use it’s concepts for other promo opportunities. Know that Audible now insists that you send codes directly, even though the recipient can use the code for any book they want.

Hey, there!

Once you’ve completed an audiobook for ACX and it’s headed off to retail, you’ll receive 25 codes that you can use to give away copies of your new book.

The codes are meant to “kickstart” the rating and review process – you offer these codes to professional reviewers, friends and family to redeem your audiobook for free on Audible, and hopefully, write a glowing 5 star review.

But there’s a big scary problem with how ACX tells you to distribute your codes. I’ve got a solution, and a bonus benefit. Read on.

The problem is that each of your codes is just a credit for, well, one audiobook.

Any audiobook. A code is just a credit, not assigned specifically to your book.

That’s right. Any code you give to someone can actually be used for any audiobook on

And, unfortunately, it often is.

That means not only does your book not get downloaded and reviewed, you’ve now got fewer codes to use, and nothing to show for the one you gave away.

And the big scary part? You’ll never know what book your contact used the code for, yours, another, and you might not get that glowing review and rating.

Not to worry. This is a problem that actually has a pretty clever solution.

And I’ll have a bonus benefit for you ahead.

Instead of just sending out an email with one of your codes to a potential reviewer, redeem the code yourself, and then gift your audiobook to the reviewer with the 1-book credit you get by redeeming the code.

Simply put, don’t let your contact control which book they use a credit for, you do that work for them. And it’s not hard at all.

Here’s how to do that, step by step (seems long, but it’s actually pretty quick):

1. Get your codes from ACX. If you don’t get your codes once your book is available for sale (give ACX a day or two), drop a line to, and they’ll get you your codes.
2. Create a simple text file or spreadsheet with your codes, each with an associated email address. This is just so you can have them all in one place. You can also keep track of who reviews your audiobook once you gift it to them.
3. Log in to your own account on Audible, and scroll to the bottom of any page.
4. Click on the link Redeem a Promo Code. As I write this, it’s a link in the second column in the footer.
5. Copy and paste your first promo code into the text box on the next screen, and click Redeem. You’ll get a thank you page, and you may need to click Redeem again on that page.
6. Audible will add one credit to your account.
7. Search for your audiobook – and make sure you’re on the book’s page, not just the search results page. You might want to bookmark your audiobook’s page on Audible for future reference.
8. Once on your audiobook’s sales page, click on the link that says “GIVE AS A GIFT“. As I write this, it’s the last link on the right hand column below the star ratings interface.
9. When the popup appears, click on the menu below Pick a card, then scroll down to the generic “Audible” format for your “greeting card” that goes along with your gift. Choose that format, and add a note. Make sure the note asks the recipient to rate and review your audiobook. Ask nicely, but do ask, and remind them that it’s helpful to you as a narrator to get great ratings and reviews.
10. Copy and paste the email address, from your text file, that’s associated with this particular code. Also, enter your name as the sender. Then, click the Preview button.
12. On the Preview Your Gift Card screen, make sure everything’s correct, then click on Add To Cart.
13. On the Cart screen, make sure the subtotal is zero, as the 1 Credit box should be checked. Click Next Step.
14. On the Checkout page, click Complete Purchase. You’ll see a thank you page, and you’ll be done.
15. Lather, rinse, repeat – do this for each of your code/email address combinations.

Pretty cool, huh? Doing this will insure that only your book can be downloaded by the recipient, and no other. In the email that ACX sends you, the process they tell you to share with the contact puts this all on them. Ignore that, and use this process instead.

And that bonus benefit? Every time your codes are redeemed, you get credit for that redemption as a sale. Yep. You’ll see the numbers for that audiobook in your ACX dashboard as they are redeemed. (They may not be credited as a sale if you simply send your contact the code itself.)

That’s awesome.

Hope this helps.


14 Responses to How To Failsafe Your ACX Narrator Promo Codes

  1. Tanya Mills June 16, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    I had also discovered this video online and have been using the process you describe above. It works like a charm!

  2. Kim June 16, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    Ah! Now I understand! I’ve received review copies both ways. I just received two requests where they just sent the credits and I actually used my CC for their books and saved the credits because the books were only $4 and I figured I’d use the credits for a more expensive book.

  3. Brad C. Wilcox June 16, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    Awesome advice, thanks! My first audiobook is in the can, so I’ll be using this method to send out those codes!

  4. Kila June 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    AH.. never even knew those codes werent already book specific! Brilliant tip, thank you :-)

    • Andi Hicks June 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      So many thank yous for this! I’ve had little luck with self-promotion.


  5. Jesse Holcomb June 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    As always, thank you David for your enlightening advice. You have a way of explaining things that makes them so clear. Is this a newer ACX policy? I recorded a book with them in Winter 2013. I didn’t receive any promo codes at first. When I contacted them about a glitch that made my title unsearchable, to make up for it, they gave me three codes to share the book with friends. Do you think it’s worth it to try and contact them about it now?

    • David H. Lawrence XVII June 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

      Why not? Just let them know you never got the codes you were supposed to get to promote the book. (You did get codes to make up for another issue, but they should have been in addition to the automatic ones.)

  6. Tracy Elman June 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    Hi David, I have been doing this for a few years now. It is a much better way to control the codes on how they are to be used but I find that most still don’t leave reviews unless they are paid to review even for short books. That is my challenge.

    • David H. Lawrence XVII June 17, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

      Some people use a spreadsheet for this purpose, and check back with their book’s page after a couple of months to see if there was a rating/review left for a particular contact. The narrator then has a choice as to whether or not to gift books in the future to the contacts that didn’t respond.

  7. Amy Shojai, CABC May 7, 2017 at 6:33 pm #

    I’ve been doing this for a couple of years, but now Audible has eliminated this option, at least in the U.S. Hope it comes back.

    • David Lawrence May 7, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

      Thanks for the notification – what exactly has Audible done to prevent you from doing that now? And when did this happen?

  8. Ruth Kaufman October 20, 2017 at 8:40 am #

    But ACX says not to give them as gifts: No, promo codes should be distributed to your fans or reviewers to redeem on their own Audible account; as described in the instructions provided when your codes are sent. Please review Audible’s Terms and Conditions for Gift Audiobooks, Gift Cards, Gift Memberships and Coupons for full details of the use of Promotional Claim Codes.

    • David H. Lawrence XVII October 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

      You actually can’t give them as gifts anymore, as noted in the update at the beginning of the article.


  1. Karen Commins’s Audiobook Marketing Cheat Sheet - Karen Commins - February 23, 2017

    […] Since the promo codes that Audible provides you for your ACX projects are not tied to a particular book, I recommend that you distribute them using the Audible Gift Center as fellow narrator David H. Lawrence XVII explains in this article. […]

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