Getting a new book for Christmas is among my favorite holiday treats. After all the gifts have been opened, and the turkey’s in the oven, and all the relatives have been called and booty has been compared, there is nothing quite like lying back on the couch and cracking open that brand new read. If there is snow falling outside that can be seen through the window and a fire is roaring in the fireplace, it’s that much better.
Too bad you can’t really give books in the Brave New World of eBooks, right? You can’t very well wrap up electrons and put them under the tree, right?
Giving an eBook as a Christmas (or anytime) gift is not only possible, it’s ridiculously easy. It can be done with just a few clicks on Amazon.com.
Let’s say, for example, you wanted to give my new book, Red Dragon Five, to the action-adventure reader on your list. First, you’d go to RD5’s Amazon page (click the link to follow along). Note that, on the right side of the page, under the “Buy for $3.99” button is another button that reads, “Give as a Gift.”
If you click that, it’ll take you to a new purchase page with several options. You have a choice between providing the email address of the recipient or your own. By putting the recipient’s address in, he or she will receive an email saying, “Guess what? A nice person bought you a book for your Kindle! Click here to download it.” Or something along those lines.
You’re able to add a custom message yourself. So you could write, “I know you love James Bond-style thrillers and fantasy literature, and this book is awesome, so I know you’ll love it! Merry Christmas!”
You might be thinking, “Yeah, but then my special person will get my gift before Christmas.” Amazon has thought of this little detail. You can choose what date the email is sent. Just click on the little calendar icon and then on the date you want — like, say, December 25, 2012. If you’re afraid the person won’t look at email on Christmas, send a text or mention in your booty-comparing phone call he or she should check email for one more present.
If you still prefer to give a physical gift, choose to send the email to yourself. Then you can print it out on pretty paper, wrap it up, and put it under the tree.
E-Readers have been popular gifts the last two Christmases. In 2010, Amazon’s Kindle was extremely successful, and last year the new Kindle Fire made an excellent find under the old Tannenbaum. With the Kindle Fire HD out this year, giving an e-reader is once again a nice thought if you can afford it.
But don’t forget that, despite its ability to play games and surf the internet, the Kindle’s basic purpose is to enable eBook reading. So when you give that gift (or know someone who is getting one), why not load it up with a few books? In particular, indie authors tend to charge less than the big publishing houses, so you can get more books for the same amount of money. Red Dragon Five is my most expensive novel, and it’s a mere $3.99.
Finally, as good as it is to give, it is also nice to receive. Take a look at RD5’s page again and notice that below the “Give as a Gift” button is an “Add to Wish List” button. Click on that to put the book on your wish list that you can send to friends and family, so they’ll know what you would like to see on your Kindle this holiday season.
Books may be moving from print to electronic media, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make perfect Christmas gifts anymore. With just a few clicks, you can make sure your loved ones are curling up with their Kindles (new or not-so-new) by the fire on Christmas afternoon with a new read.