If you are cursed with having a writer in your circle of friends or family, then you know finding the perfect gift for paranoid neurotic personality types is often difficult. I recognize this, and have offered this blog post as a friendly help.
- Buy their books. If you bought a paper copy, buy the Kindle or Nook too. Do not, under any circumstances, let someone else borrow your copy; buy them one of their own. Give them away as Christmas presents. It doesn’t really matter if you read them or not. Just buy.
- Write reviews. I can’t emphasize enough how much this is needed. Write a five star review on as many websites as possible (starting at Amazon, then Goodreads and Barnes&Noble). Do not mention that you know the writer personally in the review. It is important that you do not lie, but do emphasize the positive. If you’re going to review with less than four stars, don’t. A corollary of this is to Tweet, Facebook, Blog, Linkedin, Tumblr, and Google+ links and reviews about your favorite authors books.
- Host a writer meet and greet. Invite your favorite author friend to your home where she can talk about her books, sell books, and engage with possible buyers. Even if you live a long way from the writer, do it anyway. I wager the writer will travel. This is a win-win, because you get to support your favorite writer friend while showing off your new chocolate cake recipe.
- Give the gift of respect. Never belittle the writer, as if he doesn’t do anything all day long. Writing is hard work. Whether you like what the writer writes or not is irrelevant, the act of creating something is extremely difficult. It takes time and commitment.
- Coffee. Maybe tea. Whichever your writer prefers, a gift of coffee or tea will be appreciated. This gift signifies that you understand and are offering a comforting hand. Do not give gifts of notebooks, books on writing, pens, computer programs or other miscellany that is often associated with writing (unless the writer has asked for something specific, like a MacBook Pro or a box of pencils). A gift card to buy books is not a bad idea, but a specific book feels like an assignment. Books on writing feel like an insult. Would you give a book on how to teach to a teacher? Only if you thought that person needed help, right?
I hope this is the best Christmas ever for you and your significant writer friend or family member.