Have an author in your life you want to get something for? This is a list of things you can get before time runs out:
Review their book –Word of mouth sells books. If you’ve already got their book and are willing to spare 5 minutes of your time, reviewing it could be the way to make their day! It’s a free gesture that can mean the world to us.
Buy their book (and then review it) –If you don’t have their book, consider buying it. You like them, don’t you? If you want to show them that, grab a copy of their book, read it, and talk to them about it. I love this more than I’d ever appreciate a box of chocolates (and I LOVE chocolate).
Buy them books as distractions –Most of the authors I know are in this business because they LOVE books. They read as constantly as they write. And this is a good thing. Believe me, anyone who loves books always wants more books, no matter how many they have stacked in a to-be-read pile.
Don’t know what to get them? Buy a gift card to their local indie bookstore!
Fancy Pens –Pens are super helpful. Typing up a book is all well and good, but I go through pens like nobody’s business. Pens are helpful in plotting out your book, they’re great for making an itemized list of how you’re going to get that book finished. Bright and colorful ones help when editing that book and tearing a first (or fifth) draft to shreds. The world may be full of technological advances, but handwritten notes are still one of the best ways to get your thoughts out of your head and organized!
Coffee/Tea–I go through more tea in a month than is probably healthy. I’ve yet to meet an author who doesn’t spend most mornings and some afternoons chugging down a caffeinated beverage to get through their day/word count. Another instance where you can buy them gift cards if you’re clueless about what they drink. If you don’t want to take too much time and you know they’re a coffee drinker, grab them a card from starbucks, if they drink tea, consider adagio.com. But! If you’re getting them something new and fun, make sure you know what they’re allergic to/can’t drink. (I think bergamot tastes like soap)
Food –It’s a pretty common occurrence that I’ll be working on something that has so enveloped my attention that I forget to pay attention to silly things like my grumbling tummy. I’m not sure I’ve eaten 3 full meals on a Saturday or Sunday in the last 3 months. Even besides that though, food is awesome. Especially tasty things like cookies and pies. Seriously, bring on the pies. I’ll run off the calories later. The way to an author’s heart is through their stomach (and through book reviews). But seriously, anyone bearing gifts that are meant to go straight to my stomach then thighs is awesome in my book. I mean, I’ll be disappointed in the whole thigh-thing later, but you’ll probably be gone by then.
A Therapist –Okay, so you probably shouldn’t actually do this. It’s a bit presumptive. But I think that, if your author is anything like me. It’s sometimes nice to have someone to talk to who can help sort out what’s real and what’s not. It’s always nice to know that even though you’ve methodically planned out the perfect murder… that you haven’t actually followed through. Not that I’m saying I’ve ever been worried about that [insert uncomfortable laugh here]. Even outside spending a majority of our time with people who don’t exist, the publishing industry is a harsh and fickle mistress. Stress and self-doubt are pretty much guaranteed. So while maybe the header of this isn’t accurate. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with more than just one life at a time and if we are forgetful or lost in thought… give us a break.