Gifting an eBook for Christmas

GreenPorch Winter of eReadingWhere would lazy schmucks like me be without the gift card? I could write a sonnet to the gift card… if I weren’t so danged lazy.

But in some circles the GC (as it’s known in the biz) has become highly maligned as a gift indicating disrespect for the giftee and the whole gift giving process. (Personally I say it’s still a win/win, but what do I know? I think I’ve given someone a stick of butter for their birthday. Hey, it’s not like they were vegan.)

With the GC stolen from the holiday gift repertoire, where is the giving-impaired to turn? Well, if the person you are targeting has a smartphone or a tablet (iPad, Galaxy) or an eReader (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc.) then here is your answer. Gift card. Oh wait. I meant to say, eBook.

The hardest part of this is the intel it will take to determine if the target person has a device to read with, or if a parent (or wealthy benefactor) is planning on getting him/her one (and which kind). Once you have determined this, the rest is way easier than shooting turtles on a pond (and equally as satisfying).

If the target reads on a smartphone or tablet like an iPad you can head on over to the Amazon/Kindle store or the Kobo store to shop (these are the only two major online retailers that provide the option).  (***Update: Smashwords now provides this option as well for all formats.) If they have a Kindle then head to Amazon/Kindle. If they have a Nook then head over to Kobo. Kobo’s no DRM formatted .epub eBooks will be loadable onto the Nook (if this is gibberish to you then just hit the link to go to Kobo!).

Now for the technical part. (Grab a drink and get your web-surfing wrist braces out.) For Amazon/Kindle store it is easy-peasy. Shop for the book you want to gift. After you find it, click on the “give as a gift” button on the right. All you will need is the target person’s personal email. (If you don’t have it you can have the book gifted to you and then forward the email to the target later). Make sure you provide a gifting date, or the gifted eBook will be delivered instantly (which is a good thing if you’ve waited until Dec. 25th to do this).

With the Kobo store it is basically the same. Find the book and click on the “send this book as a gift.” I should mention that you will need to sign up for an account with either Amazon or Kobo if you don’t already have one. But it is painless (except for the searing back pain I have from sitting at my desk all day) and free.[divider]

No shipping, no wrapping, no mess. Does it get any better than that? Go ahead, no one even needs to know. Do all your shopping on Christmas Eve. Sleep in late. Your gift will be waiting in your target’s in box when you show up Christmas morning wearing your slippers with a half-eaten danish dangling from your lips. Bring an extra danish along to make it a Christmas to remember.

Oh, and don’t forget to gift a Fistful of Reefer to anyone on your list who loves a great action/adventure tale. If the whole “Reefer” bit is intimidating start with the second book in the series, The Austin Job. (Both books take place simultaneously and can be read in either order.)

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