Category Archives: Tools

29 awesome gifts for authors


gifts for authors

Wondering what to buy the author in your life (or yourself) this holiday season?

I asked author friends in the Build Book Buzz Facebook Group for their thoughts on gifts for authors; they recommended everything from a review of the author’s book to alcohol to printing services for bookmarks and postcards to a gym membership for a healthy escape from the keyboard.

Several suggested specific products, as well. I’ve incorporated some of them here along with those I uncovered through research. It’s worth noting, too, that a few of these came from a retailer I discovered when its Instagram account followed the Build Book Buzz account on that social network. Until then, I had never heard of the company. Social media can make a difference!

Here are a few fun and special ideas that are sure to generate a heartfelt “Thank you!” from any author you know.

E-book gift cards: How to sell an e-book at an event

E-book gift cardsWhen Guy Kawasaki wanted to sell digital copies of APE: How to Publish a Book at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, Enthrill made it possible with e-book gift cards.

These revolutionary cards allow publishers and authors alike to sell e-books — digital downloads — at in-person events that include book launch celebrations and speaking engagements. You simply purchase a batch of download codes from Enthrill, print them on cards — or anything else — and sell them.

“One cookbook author printed them on wooden spoons and sold them for $10 each,” says Kevin Franco, co-founder and chief executive officer of Enthrill of Calgary, Alberta.

The Amazon reviews brouhaha and you


Amazon reviews

Just 10 days ago, Amazon filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 Fiverr vendors who Amazon says are writing fake product reviews on the retailer’s site.

The company says the bogus Amazon reviews could mislead consumers and give certain sellers an unfair advantage.

Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome

a href=””>shiny object syndrome

Today’s article is brought to you by the letter P.

P is for Periscope.

Periscope, all the rage among marketers and others today, can quickly trigger Shiny Object Syndrome.

If your inbox is like mine, you’ve received lots of messages telling you how amazing this new video tool is. (In four weeks, I’ve received 57 messages mentioning Periscope.)

Should you sign up for SELF-e from Library Journal?

SELF-e library

An author contacted me recently for advice on a simple question: “Should I enroll my book in the new SELF-e Select program offered by Library Journal?”

SELF-e Select curates self-published/indie books for libraries so that librarians know which books are worth adding to their lending collections. Here are a few links with more information:

Disclosure: A small number of the links on this site are affiliate links. We receive a small compensation for the recommendation if you click through on them and make a purchase. The cost of any affiliate product is the same to you whether you use an affiliate link or not. To keep things simple, please presume that all of the links are affiliate links.