Editor of TUAW Steven Sande notes that iBook publishers looking to promote their ebooks by distributing promo codes are out of luck. Unlike the iTunes and Mac App Stores, publishers cannot create promo codes for the iBookstore.
Promo codes were created to allow developers a way of distributing their application to would-be reviewers. Before promo codes, developers were limited to gifting iTunes gift card and trusting that they would be used for their app, or by using an ad hoc distribution process that was neither quick or easy. Promo codes significantly simplified the proceed.
iBookstore publishers don’t have the option of creating an ad hoc promo code, but can, as Sande notes, send a would-be reviewer an iTunes gift card. Although, at a $15 minimum. In Sande’s case, that is $10 more than the cost of his ebook.
Will Apple change this in the future? I’m bullish that there will eventually be promo codes for the iBookstore. App Store promo codes were restricted to US iTunes accounts until 8 December 2010 and the Mac App Store didn’t allow promo codes until 3 Feb 2011. It should only be a matter of time before iBookstore promo codes are available.