This one’ll be short and sweet. Sales of tablets and e-readers are through the roof this year, and with the release of the Kindle Fire, that is only expected to continue into the holiday season and beyond. Amazon has, for all intents and purposes, given readers and authors a mechanism to gift on the cheap. How? Gifting a person’s favorite ebooks.
Now, for some of the major published authors, their ebooks may not be much less than their traditional paperbacks. This is a quasi-travesty, since the cost of putting together an ebook is much less (i.e. nearly no cost, other than upfront formatting costs) than doing the same with a paperback. Indie authors have capitalized on the inability of traditionally published authors to set reasonable prices by doing just that–setting reasonable prices. You can literally find, and gift, books by indie authors for $0.99-$3.99. Or, if you’re a numbers/figures guy or gal, for about 60-90% less than traditionally published authors.
How do you make sure you aren’t gifting crap? First, there are a lot of traditionally published books that are crap. Just harken back to high school and college, where you were forced to read a bunch of ‘em. Second, rely on reviews. Once you get 15, 20, 50, 100 people saying a book is good–that’s a fairly reliable indicator.
Finally, on to the actual gifting process. It’s easy as 1, 2, 3:
(1) On Amazon, when you search for a book and then click on the ebook version, you will see a button on the top right called “Give as a gift.”
(2) For the technology impaired, click on that button.
(3) You will be directed to a screen where all you have to do is enter the email address of the person to send the gift to. Boom, you’re done, and you did it for cheap.
A couple more awesome perks. You can do all your ebook shopping now, and set your delivery date for whenever you want, such as 12/25/2011. Your loved one will get a host of books to fill his/her new reader on the day they get the reader. What’s cooler than that? You can add a personalized message to your gift. Finally, you’re doing the environment a favor by not having a book printed, boxed up, and then shipped on some gas guzzling vehicle.
This is a frontier of book consumption. If you’re a reader, I can’t imagine a better way to gift this holiday season. If you’re an author, well, you better start spreading the word about this!