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Summary:

In a holiday season when e-readers are more popular than ever, many consumers still don’t know how to give them to others as gifts. So today…

The Color Purple e-book
photo: Open Road Integrated Media

In a holiday season when e-readers are more popular than ever, many consumers still don’t know how to give them to others as gifts. So today digital publisher Open Road Integrated Media is launching a holiday marketing campaign, “The Gift of E,” centered around gifting e-books.

The campaign site includes how-to videos on giving e-books as gifts through Kindle, Nook, Apple’s iBookstore, Kobo and Sony (NYSE: SNE). For Cyber Monday, Open Road is also discounting all its e-books by 60 percent and has arranged them into categories by giftee, including “crafty friend,” “chef,” “animal lover,” and so on.

Open Road is promoting “The Gift of E” through paid ads on Facebook, Twitter, Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Daily Candy and various lit blogs. After Christmas, the campaign will change to focus on e-book “starter packs,” for people who receive e-readers as holiday gifts.

Only Kindle and Kobo allow users to give specific e-books as gifts. On Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), Nook and Sony, you can’t purchase a specific title for someone else but have to give them a gift card instead. This suggests that etailers are behind on the concept of giving e-books as gifts, though it’s possible they haven’t seen much demand for that capability yet. Open Road clearly hopes that this holiday season will mark a turning point. Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), for one, is pushing the idea: In “The Big Deal” promotion it’s running on Kindle books this week, the site notes, “Shop for yourself, or give Kindle books–delivered when you want–to anyone with an email address.”

Are you giving e-books as gifts for the holidays, or adding specific titles to your own holiday lists? Let me know why or why not in the comments; I’d like to do a follow-up post on this.

  1. As of this past summer, Barnes & Noble has already allowed customers to purchase specific eBooks (NOOKbooks) as gifts. We have signs up around the stores promoting the ability to gift specific NOOKbooks reading, “Give the Gift of Reading.” 

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    1. Laura Hazard Owen Wednesday, November 30, 2011

      Thanks, Troy. I can’t find this option on the site, can you send me some more info at laura @ paidcontent dot org, or post it here?

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      1. At this time, the option to purchase individual NOOKbooks as gifts is only available in stores but we are working on making this an option on our website. 

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  2. My wife has a Kindle, my daughter has a Nook, and I want to give my son an e-reader this Christmas. I want to give specific titles to my daughter and son for Christmas for their e-readers.  Sellers of Internet services (e-books, music downloads, site subscriptions, etc.) are ALWAYS behind the curve when it comes to gifting.  Why do they ignore this substantial revenue source?

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