#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Holiday Workshop

Whether you celebrate a holiday this time of year (or all of them, why be stingy when there are so many good reasons to get gifts?), or not, there are some things to keep in mind while you go shopping for presents.

1. Used Books
I love used books. They're dirt cheap and, usually, in decent condition. It's also the only way to find some out-of-print novels.

But, there's a catch. Used book sales are no good for your favorite author. They don't receive royalties for the sale of a used book, and the sale doesn't show up on any tally for the publishers to see.

So, if you're buying all your books used, your favorite author isn't getting the credit for the sales and there is a very real possibility that the publisher might not pick up the next book in the series.

Painful as it is to pay full price, if you really like an author, buy the book new.

Big Question for Readers: Does anyone know if sales and royalties are reported on used books sold by Indie book sellers? I know the new book sale would be reported, but what about the stores that let you exchange books for store credit? Do they track the sales of the returned books

2. Free is Always Good
Looking for gifts for your writing group? Why not to a Fanfiction swap?

Exchange names and let each member of the group write a short story about someone else's character. You could even pick a theme. Who knows, your friend might really love your idea for Santa replacing the elves with zombies. If nothing else, everyone gets a good laugh out of the deal.

3. Share a Classic
Just not the childhood classics you could never force yourself to read.

Personally, I think books are a wonderful Christmas present. I regular give books to everyone on my list because they're fun and they're still around a week after Christmas (unlike a box of chocolate).

The trick to giving a book to someone is to find a book they haven't read but will enjoy. This means that grabbing a Jane Austen book from the store, because it's a classic dontchyaknow, isn't the best option for your Aunt who loves historical romances.

For the kid who's bored with The Magic Treehouse try something equally exciting and a little more mature (My Teacher Fried My Brains is a personal favorite). For your favorite sci-fi author, well, I could really use the pre-orders for the next Jack Campbell and Lisa Shearin books. Just in case you're wondering.

Big Questions: What's on your reading wish list?

Photo courtesy of and copyright to Zastavki.com


  1. Good advice - did that with a friend. I gave her a book I knew I wouldn't read for ages. Book is brilliant. She likes the look of it and is taking it on the train when she goes to visit family. Yay!

  2. Great ideas! I normally buy used out-of-print books (usually I'm shouting with glee that I managed to find them!). I think for the holidays it would be lovely to get a big basket of used books. I always give books too - I love matching books to people.