It's time once again for my annual Author's Christmas Wish List. I'm a little late with it this year, but most of these don't require shopping or wrapping and are good any time of the year. You can make any author in your life happy with these gifts--some of time, some of talent, and some of treasure.
Authors, feel free to copy and paste this to your own blogs, slip under your spouse's pillow, or e-mail to those who never know what to get you. Friends of authors, imagine your friend wrote this.
Gifts of Time:
* Take my book to a store and ask the owner to stock it, or give a copy to your local library or school
* Review it on Amazon or some other big venue
* Recommend it for an award (and pay the fee)
* Mention to friends or user groups about my books, website, newsletter or blog
* Babysit the kids so I can have a few quiet hours for writing
* If I'm having a book signing in your area, come visit and bring some friends
* Help me set up a book signing at your local bookstore or library (especially appreciated if we live far from each other and I'm coming for a visit)
* Contact your local newspaper or radio station about me and arrange an interview--also a great idea if I happen to be coming for a visit
* Donate a couple of hours to some project I'm working on--like sending letters to bookstores, sending out PR releases, making a database of readers, etc.
Gifts of Talent:
* Create a website for me--or better yet, teach me how
* Make a template I can modify
* Give me ideas on how I can market myself or my books--and help me to put them into practice!
* Design a banner, book "sell sheet" (a one-page flyer about the book), or other marketing materials
* Make a book trailer video for my book and post it on YouTube, etc.
* Make a recording of a chapter of my book to put on my website
Gifts of Treasure:
Just like with clothing or jewelry, some of these items (from domain names to pens) may require you knowing your author's friend's taste. When in doubt, a gift certificate for the item is a good fall-back.
* Take a photo of yourself with my book--post it and e-mail it
* Music to write by
* Amazon gift certificates to get books
* Buy my book--order it from a bookstore
* Buy me a domain name for my website
* Bookmarks with my cover, name and website
* Subscription to Writers Market
* Book signing gear--poster with my photo and name on it, a roll-away carrier to put the books and materials, book stands
* Business cards
* Gift certificate to a printer/VistaPrint if they do that
* Reams of paper
* A mug warmer (or a good thermos)
* Pizza coupons for those days when the need to write overcomes the need to cook
* A really good pen!
* Business-sized envelopes