What to Get a Self-Published Author for Christmas

Are you shopping for a self-published author? Are you tired of giving them notebooks and pens for Christmas? (Hint: You shouldn’t be.) Do you want something more meaningful or significant than yet another book on how to market your novel?

A pile of brightly-wrapped Christmas presents

“Ever Present” by JD Hancock on Flickr

Then you’re at the right blog! I have a list of fantastic suggestions for you!

  1. Buy their book. This is the best present you can give a self-published author. If you’ve already bought yourself a copy, consider buying a copy for a friend.
  2. Review their book. If you’ve read the book but haven’t reviewed it, drop everything and review it on Amazon and Goodreads right now. It’s okay. I’ll wait.
  3. Professional head shots. Are they using a Photoshopped selfie on their website? Do they have professional head shots that are five years old? Consider buying time with a talented local photographer.
  4. For the modern writer, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is always a professional hazard. Consider buying your favorite self-published author a matching set of wrist braces and decorating them tastefully.
  5. ISBNs. Honestly, those things are expensive, and people tend to overlook the value of owning your own International Standard Book Number.
  6. External hard drives. Or better yet, give your writer friend a membership to Carbonite or another off-site backup system.
  7. Registration at a writers’ conference. Find one at a tropical location for a nice winter getaway, or make it a long-lasting gift and send them somewhere scenic during the summer of 2015. Either way, it’ll be a memorable gift!
  8. Lessons. Does your friend write about horses? Riding lessons! Does your friend write crime novels? Shooting lessons! Does your friend write swashbuckling pirate adventures? Sailing lessons! Does your friend write figure-skating romances? Skating lessons! The possibilities are endless, and you get the chance to brag that you improved your friend’s writing.
  9. Advertising. Find a good book advertising site or mailing list and buy a slot for your friend’s book. If this is a discounted e-book site, make sure you give your friend enough advance warning so they can mark down the price!
  10. A librarian. Seriously, every writer wants her very own librarian. You may not realize this, but librarians are gatekeepers and information brokers. Librarians are trusted advisors. They tell people what books are hot, what books are new, what novels they might enjoy based on previous reads. They create suggested reading lists. They write book reviews. Librarians are the ultimate gift for the Writer Who Has Everything.

Okay, so maybe some of these suggestions are a little bit out of your price range. If that’s the case, feel free to buy your favorite writer friend a nice notebook or pen. Most writers enjoy shopping at Staples or Office Depot and really love things from JetPens or Levenger.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given a writer? Writers, what are the best gifts you’ve ever received?


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