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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Ten Free Gifts to Give an Author This Holiday Season


10 Frugal (Like Free) Gifts To Give Writers for the Holidays

You thought I was going to say “buy their book.” But that isn’t free and you may have already bought an author's books or even all of their books. Here are ten ways to show appreciation, anyway.

~ Go to their profile page on Amazon and like it. You can find it by clicking on their name on Amazon, one that shows up with an underline. Do it anonymously or drop them a note wishing them a happy season and let them know you did it. Heck, you could do this for every author you know or every time you open an author’s buypage on Amazon all year long. If you don’t know what a profile page is, here’s mine: http://bit.ly/CarolynsProfilePage.

~Find them on Facebook and friend them. Or Twitter. Or LinkedIn. You get the idea. Don't worry that it's an infringement of their privacy. They don't have to accept, but they will appreciate the gesture regardless.

~Review their book and publish that review on Amazon or another online bookstore. Or on your own blog. It needn’t compete with a New York Times review for professionalism. Just a few heartfelt lines will do.

~Share one of their posts on a social network—especially one that relates to their writing career. You know. They’ve won an award. Published a new book. Have a signing coming up.

~Go to the buypage of an author’s book and find the social media icons in the right column of that page. Click. Click. Click!  Share the book across all your social media networks.

~Nominate their blog or Web site for an award like Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites. Here are Writer's Digest suggested categories for nominations, just to help you get your thinking cap on:

Agent Blogs
Writing Communities
Publishing Resources
Jobs and Markets
Creativity and Challenges
General Resources
Fun for Writers

Send comments and nominations for next year’s list to writersdigest@fwmedia.com with “101 Websites” in the subject line (deadline is Jan. 1, 2015). Learn more at
http://writersdigest.com/article/101-websites-2009 .

~Post an image of an author’s bookcover on your Web site with a link and a little blurb or recommendation.

~ My favorite of all. Send your author a thank you note telling her how you enjoyed her book, what it did to help you or relate a little story about it. When I was speaking at Book Publicists of Southern California Christmas meeting, Melinda Sue Norins came by and excitedly told me that my The Frugal Book Promoter had been recommended in Authors Training Manual by Nina Amir  (http://bit.ly/AuthorsTrainingManual) that she had just borrowed from her library. Then she ran online to get an image of the page it was on to show me. I felt that her enthusiasm was greater than any tangible gift tied up with a bow.
~Go to the author’s blog and leave a comment. Try to be specific about how the author has helped you or your career in the past year.

~This idea will take time and creativity, but what a thrill for some author somewhere. Create a little handmade booklet for an author. Use quotes from their work, snapshots, a personal note.  Or make a similar greeting card and send it along. Once the members of my the critique group I lead at my neighborhood library (Chevy Chase) did that. Each participant made one page. That was years ago and I still treasure it.

HERE'S A BONUS IDEA: Do you have a snapshot of you with the author? Search your photo album and send her the picture--either by e-mail or tucked into a holiday card.  It will be the gift that keeps on giving.  

Learn more about Carolyn Howard-Johnson at http://HowToDoItFrugally.com . Use her social networks for more resources, ideas, helpful books and more.
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Get your cover images on Pinterest; you pin one of her book cover images and she pins one of yours: http://Pinterest.com/chowardjohnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .


  1. Mary Jo, just let me know when you want a retweet or tagged or whatever by including @FrugalBookPromo in your tweets. And my name in the FB shares. I love re-gifting of this kind!


Thank you for commenting at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick
www.SharingWithWriters.blogspot.com. You might also find www.TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com full of resources you can use and
www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog you can use to benefit your book or reading pleasure.