Well, it’s getting on toward that time of year.
Yes, Christmas time approaches once again, its jingling sleigh bells approaching from the darkness and storm like the funeral peals of doom. Or like the tinkling sounds of happiness and love, depending on how depressed and/or single you are this holiday season.
It’s been a crazy, crazy year for me and my family. This writing thing still feels so new. Factoid: EXACTLY one month from now, December 13th, 2013, marks my one-year anniversary as a published author. Since that time I’ve put out Touch: Trilogy, Non Zombie I and II, Hit Girls, The Ninjabread Man and of course Midrealm. And we’re right in the middle of the Wyrmspire release period.
I started thinking about what I wanted for Christmas.
There’s some nice doohickeys. I wouldn’t mind a new iPad—I’m still rocking the first gen model. But while I’m doing okay as an author, we don’t have an extra few hundred around to drop on a gadget like that.
In the end, I’m most likely going to get a new sweater or jacket from my wife, maybe a new shaver from the kids. I’m asking for a hardcover copy of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, a paperback copy of The Scriptlings. That kind of thing. The kinds of things lower-to-lower-middle-class citizens across the country give each other, and enjoy tremendously. As always, what will really be special about Christmas will be spending it with my family. Maybe taking a quick trip up to the snow (only a half hour’s drive from our house). Having Christmas dinner with my dad and maybe some other relatives.
But if I could have anything, what would it be?
Well, there’s the obvious ones. Peace on Earth, a recovery of the nation’s economy and political system, prosperity for all. Those would all be fantastic.
But much better and much more deserving folks than I, with probably a much closer connection to the Man upstairs, have been wishing for those things for years. Decades. Centuries, even. So, I’m not holding my breath.
Let’s be selfish, then. What would make me feel good, in a strictly non-altruistic way? Because, as you know, I’m a bit of a narcissist, and I’m okay with that. Let’s put you on the spot for a moment—what do I wish you would give me for Christmas?
If you were inclined to give me a present, what would I want it to be?
I thought about it and thought about it, and you want to know the answer I came up with?
I wish you would share my books with someone.
Now, of course, that’s just me. And you may not know me well enough to actually want to do that. (Although if you don’t, we should hang out sometime. Grab a beer. It would be cool).
But seriously, that’s what I settled on. Now, if anyone but my wife asks me what I want for Christmas, I just say, “figure out one of your friends who would enjoy one of my books and buy it for them.”
Dude, seriously? That’s a win-win-win. A triple win.
First of all, let’s get one thing out of the way, the least important part: yeah, I get a couple of bucks if you do that. I’m not going to lie, I like that.
The next thing, which really isn’t important to either one of us, is you get to nail two birds with one stone. If you were intending to get me a gift, then you’ve taken care of that and someone else’s gift at the same time. Boom. One purchase, two items off your list. Awesome. Not super important, but still cool.
More importantly than that: If you’re a good judge of your friends, they get to experience a good story. (Hopefully they think it’s a good story). That’s way awesome. I don’t know if you’re a reader, but if you’re not, there’s nothing like a good book. And my books ain’t too bad. At least I don’t think so, and some others seem to agree, so there you go.
There’s a fourth point. Because I’m sure at least some of you are like, “Well, okay, Garrett, but I really want to get you something. Something for you to enjoy.”
Let me state this unequivocally, with no ifs, ands or buts, and in 100% deadly seriousness:
THERE’S NOTHING I ENJOY MORE THAN A READER ENJOYING MY BOOKS.
So, if you really want to make sure I enjoy myself, give a book, and then encourage the person to contact me with their thoughts. Or just leave a review.
If you feel like you’ve got to give me something other than the satisfaction of a book in someone’s hand, make sure they tell me how they liked it (or even if they didn’t).
DON’T WANT TO GIFT MY BOOK?
Hey, that’s TOTALLY cool. Whatever reason you have for not wanting to do so, I respect that. No big deal, seriously. Maybe you barely know me, maybe you don’t know any heavy readers. I get it.
But please: find another indie artist in your life, and share their art instead.
Hell, share your own art if you want to! I could never do that. I’m not giving my own books to ANYONE this Christmas. That’s a little bit too much even for me. But if it doesn’t bother you, go ahead and do it!
But if you’re like me, and it makes you uncomfortable, or if you aren’t an artist, find another one. Your friend who’s in a sweet local band and has a demo EP available. Or another author you know who isn’t me. I don’t mind. Seriously.
If they’ve got art, any art at all, that’s available in “commodity” form (i.e. a physical object like a book or DVD) think of someone who would enjoy that piece of art, and give it to them.
You help the artist.
You give a cool gift to your friend (who gets to pretend to be a hipster, too).
And the artist and your friend then have a chance to connect about something they both love and enjoy.
Seriously. It’s a win-win-win. Triple win.
And triple wins are what Christmas is all about.
Hey, speaking of gifts and presents and stuff, did you know that if you pre-order Wyrmspire, you’ll get it in the mail before Christmas? For cereal.
It’s the second book in the Realm Keepers series, and it’s pretty badass.
So if the whole gifting a a book idea sounds good, just click on the cover to the left. If you’d rather get the first book, Midrealm, you can pick it up at the same site.