Is your Christmas shopping done?
A lot of people think that writers give books for Christmas. I can say that most of us do not. That is because books given as seasonal gifts are not usually appreciated. If an author gives a book as a gift, most people appreciate it. Who doesn’t appreciate getting something for free? But the point of that is, most people think that our own books don’t cost the author anything. That’s not true. Yes, most publishers will give a certain number of books with a contract, but we’re supposed to give those books away for promotion and reviewing. Not freebies for our friends. I know authors who buy lots of books for various purposes. They’re not free.
If I give someone a book for Christmas, I’m more likely to give away a book not written by me. Not even necessarily a friend’s book, but a book that I don’t know the author, and just think the recipient will enjoy that book.
It’s a total thrill for me as an author when someone buys a book I’ve written, then comes to me to ask me to autograph it for a friend.
I’ll never forget the first time that happened to me. I was at home, I’d gotten the kids off to school and went back to bed because I had worked the night before and hadn’t gotten to bed until approximately 2:00 am. I was only dressed in ratty sweatpants and an old t-shirt, I hadn’t combed my hair, and I certainly wasn’t wearing makeup. I don’t even remember if I was wearing socks. The doorbell rang, so I answered it. It was the mother of a friend of one of my kids. She’d bought a few of my books, and she came to my door to ask me to autograph one of them because she was giving it away as a birthday gift to her sister.
Not a moment of glory, but I did sign the book and write a nice birthday wish.
No, writers usually don’t give their own books as Christmas gifts. But we sure love it when others do.