Gifting an Ebook–a Great Way to Give and Save this Holiday Season

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

*IMPORTANT NOTE* Okay, this has all been important, but this is super important.  The recipient of your gift does not have to have a Kindle to get the ebook.  Amazon has a Kindle app that can be used on basically any platform, as far as I know.  So, even if the person has a Droid phone, for instance, all they have to do is download the Kindle app, and voila, their gift will be readable.

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!

Finally, a shameless plug for my books , Enemy in Blue  and Allegiance, which fit the bill as great gifts.  Over 100 great combined reviews, and under $5 for both.

  1. taureanw says:

    Great post!
    This year I finally have a few friends that have e-readers so this is something I am going to try!

    • Derek Blass says:

      Glad it was helpful! It’s really a great way to gift, save money, and save the environment. Not that I’m a super tree hugger, but if it comes as a part of the package, that’s great.

  2. Debbie says:

    Except when you are UK-based. 😦

    I can’t buy or gift on as I’m in the UK, and doesn’t (yet?) offer this facility. I have to publish via smashwords in order to gift one of my ebooks – but at least I can generate a coupon in smashwords that allows the recipient to download in any ereader format they like. But it does rely on the recipient being slightly tech-savvy as they have to physically drag-and-drop the book file onto their device!

    • Derek Blass says:

      Yeah, the lack of crossover between Amazon platforms is a bit startling. For instance, if you read my post on liking and tagging on Amazon, I explain that if I have a US account, I can’t like or tag books in the UK, or Germany, etc. Even within the same geographic site, a like on a paperback version of a book does not transfer to a like on the ebook version. Just one of the glitches or faults in Amazon…

  3. Stephanie says:

    So true that a lot of traditionally published books are rubbish. I’ve lost count of books I’ve read that left me wondering why the heck it was let loose on the world. It’s another great advantage of ebooks that you can get a sample. I’ve saved a fortune that way by discovering that books that looked good, well, weren’t after all. And on the other hand, I’m finding lots of cool new indie authors with incredible talent who never picked up agents or publishers before because they didn’t quite fit into whatever little box those guys were trying to fill.
    Off to check out your book now, Derek! Thanks for a very interesting blog post.

  4. Great post! Seems like they hide the “gifting” thing and most people don’t see it. Keep on spreading the word! : )

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