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Reading & Writing: Giving an e-Book gift

Reading & Writing: Giving an e-Book gift

Reading on e-readers such as Kindle, Nook, and iPad make it convenient to read almost anywhere. Here are the instructions for each format with a few extra tips.

Reading and writing go hand in hand. Most good writers started as avid readers and some stayed that way. I am sure there are some writers that do not enjoy reading, though I don’t know how they would compare their work to know if it were good or not.

I would like to share two quotes with you, in case you don’t take much stock in what I say about reading and writing. The first is arguably the best modern day author with more than 50 published novels.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King

The second doesn’t write much at all, except in the classroom and maybe in her journal. This is what she wrote in my journal that she gifted me one Christmas.

“Thanks for reading to me as a kid and sparking an interest in fiction. It is the single best gift you have ever given me, for with it my world knows no bounds. I am free to forever pursue far off lands, magical creatures, and knowledge many don’t have the ability to seek. It’s all thanks to you dad, and I’m forever grateful.” ― Elvie Whitney Dalton

So, with that being said, let’s get on with the subject at hand. What to get the reader or writer on your list, or how to “spark an interest”. It is my opinion that not everyone should write, but everyone should read. I know there are moments when I wish I had never started writing, but there has never been a moment when I wished I had not started reading.

There’s nothing wrong with gifting a good friend or family member a book you finished reading, though it would be more appropriate to give them a new copy. However, now more people are getting their reading materials online. E-readers such as Kindle, Nook, and iPad make it very convenient to read almost anywhere. In fact, writing on one of those devices is quite convenient as well.

I store whatever I am writing on Dropbox, so if I have a sudden flash of an idea I can add it right away rather than carrying around 3 x 5 cards as I did before my Kindle. Although, I am more apt to have my phone, which has that capability as well.

Giving an eBook is simpler than most would imagine. However, there are different rules depending on the device the reader uses and that can get complicated. You could choose to start with Bookfinder (there are others but this is my favorite) and when you find the title you are interested in buying, then you can decide which service. Since I am very fond of my Kindle, let’s start there.

Reading on a Kindle

Start by going to If you know the title or author, you can just start a search. Once you find the book in Kindle version, click “Give as Gift” button.

You may choose to send it on an e-mail and choose the delivery date, or you can simply print the voucher, which you could send in a card, or scan and add to an e-card.

If you would like to give a gift from someone’s Amazon Wish List, according to Amazon:

To search for a list:

  1. Go to Find a List or Registry
  2. Enter the name or e-mail address for the person whose list you’d like to find
  3. Click Search
  4. Once you’ve located the applicable list, you can Click Remember if you’d like to save a link to the list.

Note: This step is optional. If you choose, this will allow you to find that list from any list search results page, the left side of your own list or the Gift Planner main page.

Reading on a Nook

On Barnes & Noble, find a Nook Book and then choose “Buy as gift.” However, registration is required and you will have to fill out a form to complete the purchase.

During purchase you can choose the delivery date, so your recipient receives the gift just before Christmas or whichever occasion the gift is given. After receipt, the recipient has the choice to trade for another book, a different gift, a Nook app. or a gift card.
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iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPod

iOS readers have many more options. If you know they use a Kindle or Nook, use the previous methods. If you’re unsure and do not want to ask because you may tip them to your gift, just give an Apple iBook.

Giving an iBook is a little more complicated and time-consuming. Launch iBook’s app from your iOS device. Find that perfect book, tap share (it will look like a square box with the arrow pointing outward), and then choose “Gift.” The app will walk you through the process. You will need to sign in on iTunes, choose the recipient, choose whether or not to add a comment or message, and then enter the send date.

Android Tablets & Phones

You can purchase an eBook on Google Play; unfortunately, there is no option to gift one. You could give a gift card and suggest a book you enjoyed, or something you think they would enjoy.

Another choice, is to purchase a Nook or Kindle eBook and in your gift message give them a link to the free app that accompanies it.

On Writing

Read Stephen King's On Writing

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is one of Stephen King’s books about writing, which I refer to frequently. Although published in 2000, it is a timeless tool for your writing craft.

However, the book I read that help me start making money with my craft was, Maggie Linders, Freelance Writing Riches: From Earning Immediate Income to Replacing Your Day Job: Make Money Online with Freelance Writing.

read Freelance Writing Riches

When I read this, I thought if I could get paid for one article, then I would know I could do this. A few days later I sold my first article to Yahoo! Contributor for $14 and even though Yahoo! Contributor no longer exist, I have been writing ever since.

There are many freelance writing opportunities online, read some of my other articles to discover those and tips of the trade:

Writing Pitfalls to Avoid in Articles

How to: Writing Articles for the Web

Or, perhaps the writer on your list would like a pen & notebook. These are a perfect combination for less than $40.



Writing Articles for the Web for Fun and Profit

Writing Articles for the Web can be Fun and Financially Rewarding.


Writing Articles for the Web - Quality Content Writer

There are four important factors when writing articles for the web:

  1. Knowing your audience
  2. Accepting rejection without taking it personally
  3. Spellchecking and proofreading
  4. Enjoying what you do

There are a lot of web-based magazines and blog sites that pay very well for writing articles for the web. Although most do not pay very well, content mills such as,,, Elance, and oDesk, which combined to make and can provide you with immediate income to start your website or blog. Many “experts” will advise against using content mills; however, sometimes it may come down to a choice between eating or listening to the experts.

Always keep your eyes open for new opportunities by subscribing to other freelance writer’s blogs. Read eBooks by freelance writers to avoid making the same mistakes they made.

1. Knowing your online audience

When writing articles for the web, knowing your audience is crucial in that it will point toward which format to use. Most web-based magazines and technical sites expect formal voice when writing their articles, whereas blogs accept friendly, less formal voice.

In the words of Dale Carnegie, “Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience.”

Quotes taken from the web must include a source, either as an embedded hyperlink or at the end of the article. I always to add a quote that is relevant to the subject and three or four relevant external links, which I hyperlink. has an excellent article on the use of external links, how to hyperlink, and how those affect search engine optimization (SEO). Also, use an internal link to your About and Portfolio page, so readers can get to know you.

Web users do not read the same way as print media. They typically scan the article to see if it is of interest to them, so put the most important things up front. Be brief and concise. Use short sentences and only one concept per paragraph. Additionally, I use H2 subheaders to break up the text so the reader can find items of interest more quickly.

I like to include at least one optimized image, such as a photo, graph, chart, or infographic. Infographics have become very popular recently, but many times those are overused. If you do not have at least five to seven points to make, it is probably not enough to make an interesting infographic.

2. Accepting rejection without taking it personally

Learning to accept rejection is as important in writing as accepting a check. It is said, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Even the perfectly written material may not be the right fit for some websites, which could go back to knowing your audience.

Never give up on an article you feel strongly about. An article that is not right for one forum may be perfect for another. Double-check and refine the article, if necessary.

I was totally shocked and a little upset when I experienced my first article rejection. One editor said to keep my writing light because their readers were not technical; another editor rejected my article because it was not technical enough. I wound up selling it a few days later for twice what they had offered to pay me.

3. Spellchecking and proofreading are essential

No one should minimize the importance of spell checking and proofreading. A practice I always use is to put my article aside after it is complete and I have done my first spellcheck. I will come back to it after a few hours and reread it. Another good practice is to have someone else proofread it.

Remember spelling and grammar checks do not catch everything. Consider buying a subscription to Grammarly, Whitesmoke, or Ginger. My favorite is Grammarly. Although some of these grammar checkers claim to be free, it is much better to buy the subscription. Much like a mechanic with a toolbox, the more tools you have, the easier the job becomes. Grammarly basic will, for instance, tell you there are 13 errors, but without the upgrade, it will not tell you what every mistake in your writing is. Many times, it is just passive voice, which very rarely fits the situation, try to avoid it. Get Grammarly and get better grammar and accuracy. It is recommended not to use more than ten percent passive voice in your writing. Some editors insist on NO passive voice.

In Word, if you choose File, then Options, Proofing, and then Settings you can choose how autocorrections will appear or how Word will notify you of supposed mistakes.

4. Enjoying what you do!

Maybe I should list this as the most important lesson learned about writing articles for the web. If you write about something that you have a passion for, your passion will naturally show in your words.

Whether you are writing for the Web or a medical journal, know your audience, become your own best critic, and have fun with it.



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