Sunday, September 25, 2005

Book Gifting in Your Book Marketing Campaign

A Guest Article

Who really knows who coined the term gifting and what does it really matter? What I can tell you is this action of gifting books is transforming the literary world as we know it.

Authors are normally writers and not always experienced marketers. And yet, if the author is a true giver, that author is a marketer.

Eight years ago, I published my first children’s book. With love, passion and joy in my heart, I gave books to children and parents all over the country. I saw them beam with energy from this transaction of a true gift. There was nothing behind this except that I wanted to give my gift to them and the world. Many people told me they have never met an author before, let alone be given an autographed book by one.

What book gifting has taught me is that the world responds to sincere generosity and a heart with good intentions. From the day I gifted my first children’s book in 1996 until now, The I AM Foundation has gifted and distributed over 275,000 books and products to the world. This is proof enough for me that the magic of marketing and book gifting go hand in hand.

What better way to spread the news of your book than with someone who has first read it, and is so excited about it they tell everyone they know?

The idea of book gifting is not new. James Redfield, who wrote The Celestine Prophecy, drove around the country giving books to people he talked with, bookstores, and everyone he deemed it was appropriate for. The result was a book deal with Time Warner whose sales people watched in awe as these books flew off the shelves.

My gift to you today is this idea: take ten percent of your print run and donate these copies to people and organizations that will benefit from your book. Think about taking your overruns, remainders and misprints and having them serve you as marketing pieces to your target markets.

If you need help, The I AM Foundation exists to serve you in this area. We gift books to the world. I invite you to watch the magic behind a book gifting campaign. The publisher of Nonviolent Communication (Puddle Dancer Press) watched their title go from being ranked #3000 on Amazon to #300 within six months of working with The I Am Foundation.

Whether you would like a partnership with us or otherwise, please see the value in how gifting your title will help you overall. I stand by eager and optimistically waiting to hear your results.

— Steve Viglione is the author of three children’s books and products with over 100,000 copies in print. He is the founder and CEO of The I AM Foundation, a 501c3 educational non-profit whose mission is gifting educational books and music to children and adults worldwide. Please visit I Am Foundation, email him at, or call him at 619-296-2400.
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