Gifting Books

fullsizeoutput_16aNo matter the time of year or occasion, books are recognised, by most people, to be enjoyable, acceptable, gifts. And, of course, this is more so when it is a special celebration: Birthday; Christmas; Mother’s Day; Father’s Day; etc.

In the past people had to go to a physical bookshop but now, with the advent and popularity of internet based retailers, many prefer to shop online. Besides the ease of being able to shop from home this method also helps when someone has left matters to the last minute.

This article will look at some of the available online book purchasing options together with their processes.


Whether liked or not, it has to be accepted Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer of all goods including books. In fact, it started out as a book selling site. The following applies to all Amazon sites e.g. .com;; .de; .fr; etc.

Amazon E-books

Some initial considerations:

–  The person receiving the gift does NOT have to have an Amazon Fire Tablet or Kindle e-reader. They just need a device that can support the Amazon application e.g. Kindle Reader app.
–  Giver must have an Amazon account with the 1-click payment method activated.
–  Recipient will require an Amazon account.
–  The following only applies to digital e-books available for purchase (free and books on pre-order are not included). The giving of a paperback edition will be considered further down.


  • Go to the Kindle store on a desktop browser (either on desktop computer or laptop);
  • Find the page for the book to be given;
  • Click ‘Give as Gift’ button;
  • Enter recipient’s e-mail address (ensure it is valid). Alternative: if e-mail address unknown or prefer to pass gift on personally, the giver may enter their own e-mail address. They could then forward the e-mail or print and pass it on in physical format;
  • Add desired delivery date;
  • Add personal message (optional);
  • Click ‘Place your order’. (E-mail all be sent immediately or upon date selected.)

Note: Some books are not available in all countries (usually related to legislation e.g. politics, pornography, etc.). If this occurs the person receiving the gift may contact Amazon and exchange it for an Amazon gift card.

Amazon Paperbacks

Within the Amazon environment, print-on-demand paperbacks are created through CreateSpace. It is not possible to gift straight from the CreateSpace site however, the giver may use an Amazon gift card (may also be used for e-books).

Note: The recipient is not obliged to use the gift card to purchase the nominated book: they may use it as payment for anything.


Digital format books are obtainable from both iBooks and iTunes.

  • Open iBooks;
  • Select ‘Store’ (Top Left);
  • Choose book;
  • Click ‘Share’ icon (Top Right);
  • Select ‘Gift’;
  • Enter e-mail address;
  • Chose theme for gift (several available);
  • Confirm selection (ensure send date is entered).
  • Chose book;
  • Select drop down menu (down arrow to right of buy link);
  • Chose ‘Gift This Book’;
  • Enter: e-mail address; sender’s name; message; send date;
  • Click ‘Next’;
  • Chose gift card theme (several to chose from);
  • Click ‘Next’;
  • Check details;
  • Click ‘Buy Gift’.
Google Play

Books only in digital (e-book) format.

  • Check recipient is registered for Google Play in the SAME COUNTRY as the giver;
  • Find book in the Google Play Store;
  • Click ‘Buy as Gift’;
  • Follow the instructions;
  • An e-mail will be sent to recipient immediately. A copy will also be sent to giver.

Note 1: If the recipient does not receive the e-mail the giver may forward the copy sent to them: the gift code may still be used by the recipient.

Note 2: Google also has a system for gifts to be made from an Android device.

To redeem Google Play gift:

  • Open store;
  • Select ‘Redeem’ from menu;
  • Enter code;
  • Click ‘Redeem’.

Most independent (indie) authors will have heard of Smashwords though there may be a number of readers who have not. Smashwords is a good choice because it provides formats for all devices: Tablet; E-reader (includes Kindle); Smartphone; Computer.

  • Locate book;
  • On book page: click ‘Give as a Gift’;
  • Enter recipient’s name and e-mail address. (If preferred the giver may enter their own e-mail address so that they may pass on the gift in person or at least by personal e-mail.);
  • E-mail, containing code and details, sent immediately. A copy will also be sent to the giver.

Note 1: The giver’s name is included and will be shown as it appears within their Smashwords account.

Note 2: To redeem the recipient will be asked to login to their Smashwords account, if they have one. If they do not, they will be asked to sign-up for one (free).


Many indie authors, though not all, will have heard of this company however, the majority of readers will probably not have. Nevertheless, this does not create any serious problem because it is not possible to gift direct from the site. To gift a book the giver has to utilise the end retailer’s system (Draft2Digital distributes to multiple retailers).


Books, for many generations, have made welcome, acceptable, gifts.

With most readers now having access to some sort of electronic devise, on-line giving has become a popular, quick and easy method for gifting.

Gifting an e-book is a fairly straight forward process.

On-line giving, being almost immediate, helps those who have either forgotten about an event or have left it all to the last minute.

Unfortunately, though not impossible, giving physical edition books is not as immediate though the recipient will have the redeemable code to hand that they may action at their leisure.

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