Did you receive what you wanted, or what you needed? Did you receive any ridiculous presents that only proved the giver hadn’t put any thought into the present whatsoever? Or did you just receive money, proving little heart behind the gift-giving? Will you be returning or exchanging those unwanted gifts? Or do you regift?
Here’s the best way to ensure you receive the perfect gift that’s exactly what you want and need…
When I worked at Book n Books during the mid-80s, a funky little store on 17th Ave. S.W. in Calgary, we did very little business at Christmas that was directly related to gift-giving. It just wasn’t that kind of bookstore. We didn’t carry any children’s books, but did stock a large selection of the esoteric and intellectual for adults, specializing in New Age, literary fiction and poetry, gay and lesbian books, vegetarian/macrobiotic cookbooks, travel lit (as opposed to travel guides), history, science, philosophy… You get the picture. I distinctly remember one of our regular customers walking into the store just before Christmas Day, closing the door behind him, clapping his hands together and rubbing them, while saying, “There! I’ve finished all the Christmas shopping for everyone else! Now it’s time to buy presents for ME!” I think he may have bought three philosophy books. I can just imagine that they were the best presents he received that Christmas, because they were exactly what he wanted. He likely would have bought the books at some time anyway, but he obviously derived a great deal more joy by making them his Christmas present to himself.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I couldn’t afford to give presents this year. What I didn’t say though was that I also hadn’t expected to receive any presents from anyone else, so I felt kind of evened out by it all. Besides, I had already decided on the one gift I could give myself that would mean more, in any case, coming directly from me. I will be ePublishing my first novel in January. It’s been edited (many times now, and by professional editors) and I feel confident sending it out there into the world. Yes, I could submit it again to publishers in the hope that someone might be interested in offering me a contract, but I know this entire traditional process will take yet more time, and that’s not something I wish to invest any further in this particular novel. So I will pay to have the manuscript professionally formatted and list it online to be sold. A professional designer is now working on the cover. The primary reason I want to publish is less one of seeing my name in print, but rather more of using this experience to explore how to set up a marketing and promotion campaign – to figure out what works and what doesn’t and just where my imagination will take me in the promotion of eBooks in particular, and books and their authors in general. This should stand me in good stead for promoting other authors in the future. So not so much paying for self-publication, but rather a business investment for Alberta Books Canada to help me to work more effectively on behalf of the authors who hire me.
But I do hope to sell a few copies of my own eBook while I’m at it. To sell at least enough to cover the expense of having it ePublished, anyway. I’d be a total fool to go into this otherwise.
One thing I do know though is that this is the perfect gift for me and that, no matter what happens, I will always be happy I bought it for myself.
So, when you were out shopping for everyone else on your list, did you remember to give a gift to the most important person in your life? I hope so!