Gift-ology for Authors

By Guest Author, Cathy Fyock

When my friend Jeff recommends a book, I usually run right out and buy it. So when he mentioned Gift-ology, I placed my Amazon order.

Gift-ology, by John Ruhlin is about the art and science of using gifts to cut through the noise, increase referrals, and strengthen retention.

It made me think about what we as authors need to do to thank and reward our readers, and luckily, Ruhlin models this throughout his book.

At the end of many chapters, he invites his readers to go to his website for bonus material. And he offers lots of great “irresistible free offers” (IFOs) on this landing page. After giving your name and email address you receive all the goodies he mentions throughout the book: a video of his Brooks Brothers story, cool ideas to show appreciation, a white paper, a checklist, and other gifts.

Which got me to thinking: Ruhlin is demonstrating his message. It’s important to show our appreciation and thanks to others, and as authors, we should be thanking and rewarding our readers.

What are the gifts that we can offer to our readers? I’ve created a partial list here to get you thinking about all the ways that you might add value for your readers (and, at the same time, get their names and contact information so that you can incorporate these folks into your tribe).

  • An assessment, questionnaire, survey, or quiz
  • A white paper, ebook, or additional reading
  • A resource list or bibliography
  • A checklist or template
  • An update, newsletter, or brief
  • Discounts for future product or service offerings
  • Access to webinars or learning programs
  • A podcast or interview
  • A video program
  • Access to a Facebook or other social media group
  • A strategy session with you
  • Cartoons or memes with reminders or quotes
  • Tweetable content relating to your book

Notice that many of these gifts not only add value to the reader, but they also demonstrate what you might offer to this reader as a client or customer.

Ruhlin closes his book by suggesting that each of us can become a giver-preneur. And as authors, that is smart business.

Meet Cathy Fyock

Hometown Guest Author Headshot

Cathy Fyock is The Business Book Strategist, and works with professionals and thought leaders who want to write a book as a business development strategy. She is the author of Blog2Book: Repurposing Content to Discover the Book You’ve Already Written. To receive a free copy of her Writers’ Pledge, email her at

About Becky Robinson

Becky is the founder and CEO of Weaving Influence, the founder of Hometown Reads, and a champion of the #ReadLocal Movement.

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What People Are Saying

  • I put together an assortment of my short stories and published Heart Shaped: a collection of short romances, so I’d have a ready gift on hand for any occasion. Gifting with one’s creative work is another way for an author to show appreciation.

    • Yes, I carry around bookmarks and my books every event I attend, giving them out as a greeting gift 🎁and door prizes at non-specific functions, like bingo, etc.

      • Great idea. Really, it is a rather inexpensive gift and you are giving something of yourself. Thanks for a nice reminder.

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