Writerpreneur: Electronic Gift Giving

October 2007 Family Fun Magazine By Gregory Kompes

We all love to receive gifts. As you make out your holiday gift list, don’t forget to include those who give back to you all year, your e-mail mailing list recipients. The holiday season is the perfect time to thank your loyal following.

Simple e-cards and e-postcards make nice tokens of appreciation. Most autoresponders have some type of e-card or e-postcard feature, so creating and sending out a holiday Thank You should be rather easy.

An even better idea is to give a gift that your audience will not only enjoy, but find useful. Why not send out an e-book to your audience. It could be an older one from your collection, or a new white paper or special report on your niche topic. This is a super way to connect with your following, further establish your expert status, and spread a little good cheer at the same time.

Two years ago, several fiction and poet friends of mine put together a twenty-page e-book for the holiday season. Each person in the group contributed their favorite family recipe, a brief poem or one page essay or story themed around holiday memories, and a bio that included both a photo and a website address. The selections were then combined into a lovely e-book with a table of contents and a brief introduction. All the contributors sent the same book out to their email lists. Not only did this make for a special gift, the e-book also served as a cross marketing project that introduced everyone in the e-book to everyone else’s lists.

Here are a few more recipe e-book ideas: cookies, cakes, appetizers, cocktails, or eggnogs. Another idea is to create a food theme collection, say recipes with peppermint, apples, or spices from around the world.

If you offer services, an electronic gift certificate makes a nice gift for your audience. For example, if you offer coaching services, you might provide a fifty percent off discount or a buy-one, get-one free offer. This might be just the impetus to introduce someone on your list to your services and help fill up the usually quiet January schedule. If you have several books in print, you could give one at half price when two are purchased. This not only spreads good will, but it also helps you clean up your stock room before the end-of-the-year inventory count.

It’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates religious holidays. Instead of sending out a Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanzaa gift, why not deliver a Thanksgiving or New Year’s e-book to your following?

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Gregory A. Kompes, author of the bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer’s Series, speaks at conferences and teaches Internet self-promotion courses online. Gregory is editor of Queer Collection: Prose & Poetry, Patchwork Path, The Fabulist Flash, and Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects published authors experiences (chosen a “101 Best Websiteby Writer’s Digest ). In Las Vegas, he hosts the Writerpreneur Workshops and co-host’s the Writer’s Pen & Grill. Gregory holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, New York, and a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning and an MS Ed. from California State University, East Bay.

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