Do you know someone who has switched whole-heartedly to ebooks? My parents have even gone so far as to instruct me ‘not to buy paperbacks’!
So if you’re accustomed to having piles of wrapped books under the tree, what do you do now? Giving a gift card seems so impersonal!
Never fear! You can ‘gift’ your own choice of ebook on several platforms, and here’s how.
You don’t have to own an ereader to gift ebooks – all you need is an email account (and I assume if you’re reading this you probably have one of those!).
If you don’t have an Amazon account, set one up – make sure you use Amazon US! This is because you can’t give Kindle books as gifts from many Amazon Kindle Stores, but residents of most countries can still shop at Amazon.com if you set it as your default store.
If you already have an account linked to another Amazon marketplace, see instructions under the heading ‘Return to the Amazon.com Kindle Store’ at the bottom of this page for details of how to transfer to another store.
- Choose your books – In the search bar on the Amazon home page, use the drop down menu to select ‘Kindle Store’ and search for books you know your loved one will like;
- Gift details – On the right of the book page, click ‘Give as a gift’, and select ‘Email the gift to me’. Complete the recipient’s details, and your gift message. Change ‘Your Name’ to the names you want the gift to be from e.g. Mary, Bob, Matt and Lucy;
- Place order – Select place order to have the gift voucher emailed to you;
You will need iTunes, or an Apple device like an iPad or Mac to access iBooks, and an Apple account.
- Choose your books – In iTunes or iBooks, use the search bar to find your ideal gift – make sure you are searching ‘Nook Books’;
- Gift book – below the picture of the book cover on the left side of the page is a ‘Buy Now’ button, and on the right side of this button is an arrow indicating a drop-down menu. Click the arrow for the menu. The top option on the menu is ‘Gift Book’. Select it;
- Gift details – A popup box allows you to insert details of the email address to receive the gift, the name of the sender, and your gift message. I suggest sending this to yourself using the ‘Now’ option so you can print it out. Keep the email to forward to the recipient later to make it easier for them to redeem – they can use a code on the voucher, but it seems like this is a really difficult way to claim the book. Select ‘Next’ to proceed;
- Choose theme – iBooks let’s you choose one of several pre-set themes for your voucher. Select one, then click ‘Next’ to place your order;
Note: you can only gift iBooks to someone in the same country as you.
If you don’t have an account at Barnes & Noble, set one up.
- Choose your books –Use the search bar at the top to find your ideal gift;
- Gift book – Next to the orange ‘Buy Now’ button is a smaller ‘Buy as gift’ option. Select it;
- Gift details – Complete the recipient’s details, and your gift message. Use your email address so you can receive and print the email for gifting, but keep the email as it seems you will actually need to forward the email to the recipient so they can actually claim the gift;
- Confirm order – Select the orange ‘Submit’ button to confirm the order;
Wrapping your gift
Once you receive the emailed voucher, print it and cut it to size. Amazon gift vouchers (when cut to size) fit nicely in pre-made DVD gift boxes, and I expect the others likely do to, so you still have a gift to put under the tree!
If you can’t find any of these boxes, you could use any shape gift box and fold the vouchers to fit, or put the vouchers in a beautiful Christmas card.
It’s not necessary to forward Amazon vouchers electronically as they contain a code to redeem the book, but it seems forwarding the email for Nook books and iBooks after you’ve presented your gift is likely to make life simpler for the recipient.
Got it wrong? If the recipient already owns the book, or doesn’t want it, they can easily exchange it on Amazon and B&N for a gift card to use as they choose. It’s less clear if this feature is available on iBooks and I haven’t been able to find confirmation from an Apple help topics.
Don’t forget me if you have a loved one who loves fantasy! 😉