Ah, the joys of shopping for Christmas. I grew up sharing the true meaning of Christmas with my family: gift giving, eggnog, glittery trees, hokey music and the ability to spend the day in your jammies. You will notice I listed gifts as the very first item.
We didn’t have a lot of money, in my younger years, so my Mom bought our gifts slowly throughout the year. Janet and I do our gift shopping a little differently: we start in late summer and buy most of our gifts online or at local arts and crafts fairs.
Money is tight this year but even if it isn’t sometimes the best gifts only cost a little of your time. So if you are trying to figure out, say, what to give your favorite self-published/indie author for Christmas, the best gift you can give your personal author friend is exposure.
Now, before you take off your bra and put on your Velcro closed shirt…not that kind of exposure! That kind should be reserved for a few very, very best friends. I meant, your BAF (best author friend) will cry tears of joy upon seeing kind words written about their work on Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, etc.
I’m assuming you bought their book in the first place and actually read it; if you haven’t, don’t worry! There’s still time to buy their book and read it before Christmas; another great gift for your BAF. If you liked the book, even if you only liked one aspect, go out to whoever sells their book and write a short review.
I will never advocate for lying, no matter how good the intentions are, but when writing a review, try and keep it positive and helpful. Honestly, if you think the book sucks, just don’t write anything at all. If you laughed out loud in a couple of spots, though, write about that in your summary of thoughts.
I wrote a review, on Amazon, for D Jordan Redhawk and her book 1 of the Sanguire series where I started, “Not my favorite genre, but a very good read…” I’m not a big fan of vampire stories, but I like Redhawk’s voice and I enjoyed the book immensely. I want indie authors to do well and writing a review on Amazon, and buying the book, is the best way I know how.
I was given an early Christmas present from my new friend from across the pond, a woman’s name Janet and I utter like a very dear friend now, Terry, who wrote a summary and review of Devan’s Story. I’m seriously thinking about printing it out and hanging it on the wall for those dreary times in a writer’s life when you want to throw in the towel, thinking, “This manuscript sucks…I can’t write…why do I pretend to be a writer?”
Here is her review: http://affinityebooks.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=247&chapter=1
Terry is very passionate about reading, reviewing books, and getting the word out; when I say ‘go write a review’ I don’t mean write one like this (although I’m sure your BAF would love you for eternity if you did). This was a gift, from one person to another, which can never be repaid. I’m sure she didn’t read the book with that in mind, but that’s how it ended up. Lucky me.
So, if you are struggling with gift ideas for your BAF, or anyone else important in your life, have no fear. The best gifts are from the heart. So search for your inner wordsmith, or make a favorite dinner for new parents, or spend time with an aging relative. Why, you ask? Because you could make a big difference in someone’s life with a seemingly small (to you) but meaningful gesture (to them).