12 Ways for Authors to Turn Books into Ideal Gifts

My book truthiness … books are my morning, afternoon and evening delight.

Of many of my favorite things, books top my gift giving list … and receiving list.  If you are stymied of what to give to a favorite aunt, a good friend, something that says, “I’m thinking of you … and put some thought into it.” It there is one item where there is “something for everyone one”—it’s a book.

The same book isn’t for everyone … but there is a book that is. In the fall, I host my annual Autumn Author Tea. An afternoon where over a dozen authors “pitch” their books to a crowd of 100 plus in my home. It’s a type of marketing coop—we all invited friends (this year, it’s on Saturday, October 27—info here)

There is a book that will fit under the tree for Charlie, Sarah, Sam, Martha, Brenda, Pat, Kelly, John, Shelley, and little Julie. Not the same book … but a book that a giver thought would be perfect for each person on his or her list. There is always a book that will fit a friends special day. Always.

Sometimes, I find a book that I know is “perfect” for several of my friends—I buy a dozen of them … knowing that it’s what I bring when Holiday hellos and drop-ins are the norms.

When my book Snappy, Sassy, Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers was first published, all my writer friends got it—just wrapped with a sheer ribbon that picks up one of the colors on the cover. One time I bought 20 copies of a cookbook after I attended the author’s signing—all my foodie friends got it with a note—“At our next gathering that John and I host, each of you is to select a recipe and that will be part of our menu” … and what a delicious and salivating array it became. When I worked on my MBA in the 80s at Pepperdine University, The Lessons of History was one of the books that were required reading in one of my classes. It turned out to be the favorite of all my classmates was such a gem that I bought a dozen copies for host and Christmas gifts for friends. And two of my recipients so loved it, that they bought multiple copies to pass on to their friends as gifts.

If the above doesn’t start you off with a few ideas, here’s 12 ways BOOKS are the best of gifts—and not necessarily yours—should be at the top of your list.

  1. Wrapping is the bestjust get a sheer ribbon that picks up the color of the Holiday, your personal favorite or one within the book. Rarely an odd size, they fit easily into a bag if that’s your choice and for shipping, a piece of cake.
  2. Books don’t break the bank accountprices can range from a few dollars and up. Last summer, a friend’s housing development had a community garage sale. One home had boxes of books going from ten cents to a dollar—books that looked like they hadn’t been opened. Being the book addict that I am, I dove in and for $10, came away with over 20 books that went into my “gift closet”—three wonderful baskets were created for birthday giving for the fall with a variety of books in each: two for kids in the family and one for a friend in a nursing home.

When my 9-year-old grandson opened his gift from me one Christmas morning six years ago, I loved watching him as he laid out the entire series of Harry Potter on the floor as he dropped down on it. Touching each cover, picking them up, stroking the series, it made this Gramma’s heart glow. As a freshman in high school today, he celebrates and cherishes his growing book collection, with one entire wall in his bedroom a series of bookshelves. Last year, he asked me to come over and help him “arrange” his shelves like I do those in my personal library. How cool is that?

  1. Any age or person will dofrom the wee ones to the seniors, there’s a book for any age, male or female.
  2. Books are available from countless sources and easy to getthe grocery store; big boxes (Yes, the new homeowner’s perfect gift may just be at Home Depot); online; gift shops and of course, bookstores (one of my all-time favorite places to just hanging out during the Holidays).
  3. Books delivered via a gift cardalways loved in my household; whether for an online store or brick and mortar … it’s an afternoon delight!
  4. Shipping a book is a piece of cakeif you are ahead of the crowd, media mail works and you can save money; the priority envelop at the USPS takes most books easily. If you support Amazon as your buying spot, it takes care of the shipping and the buyer pays for it; or it may be sent with “free” via Prime. If you are encouraging a bookstore as the “pick up” site, make sure you connect with it and inventory is there.
  5. Books give and givewho hasn’t recirculated something that they loved with a friend or family member? And when a book has “finished” its time in your home, donate to a group that can start the re-circulation.
  6. Books love to travelwhether print, audio or “e”, they are the best of travel companions. If you aren’t sure of which version, the gift card comes into play—if you know what book you want to give—print the cover, include with the gift card and encourage them to select the version desired.
  7. Books are the ideal way to escapewhether a tall adventure, a biography to the past, a laugh until the reader is almost incontinent, books deliver a new world … “a timeout and away.” For me, fiction is a “reward” … something I’ve earned to fall into after the completion of an assignment or just need some hours away from my regular grind.
  8. Books keep the brain cells happyyep, no matter what, they are educational and that is good for the cognitive juices. My own recent reads this past month have been Madeline Albright’s Fascism, John Sandford’s Deep Freeze delivering the latest who done it with sleuth Virgil Flowers using humor and mastery, and Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network revealing the amazing female spies from WWI.
  9. Remind all your Fans and Friendsmeaning sending them a personal email if you have their emails; post it on your Facebook pages NOW—your books are ideal for not only the Holidays … but for host and hostess gifts; for birthdays and special days … and of course, you would be delighted to personalize them for each! Here’s to you, authors are my heroes!

    Pinterest and Instagram are hot sites for buyer awareness. Make sure you are using them.

  10. Books are audio and visual—let everyone in your social media world know what formats yours are available in. For print and “e” editions, make sure you are also on the Matchbook ability on Amazon so that print buyers can get the eBook for zero to $2.99.

    If your book is on audio (and today, it should be), remind your followers that if they hadn’t bought an audiobook yet … they can get it for FREE on Audible via Amazon—and you will still earn a royalty.

No matter what, everyone you know is interested in something … even the “someone” that when you ask, “What would you like?” and responds, “I don’t know,” can be taken care of. There’s always a book for something, as weird as that something might be.

And remember, beginning in October, the window opens for the possibility of huge book sales. Be ready to participate.

OK … I confess … I’m a Book Addict. And I don’t plan on entering a 12-Step program to stop my beloved addiction and pleasure. The countless hours of pleasure that they have given me since I was a little kid can never be tallied. The goosing to my imagination gives me a Happy Dance. The words that flow from millions of authors over the world is a wonder. And the reality that working with authors on creating their books plus publishing my own is what I do for a living … jeez … don’t wake me. I love what I do!



Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 36 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35, How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos has earned 7 national book awards in 2017. Book #36, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech is one you want now and just out!

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged Bootcamp, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2018, the dates are June 23-25.  Participate in her Judith Briles Speaking Unplugged Bootcamp held in March and November. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow.

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.

The Book Shepherd™