Don’t get your fiction-obsessed writer friend another book. They’ll probably kill you. They already have a stack of stuff by their heroes, another by people they’re curious about, a bunch of ARCs their indie-author colleagues keep prodding them about on Goodreads, and on top of all that they’re working on a manuscript they’re probably sick to death of. This is the time of year for remembering that nothing picks a writer up better than someone giving them an honest review.

Okay, by honest I mean positive. If they’re written something that sucks like the vacuum cleaner after it’s ingested too many pine-tree needles, perhaps save the review for New Year’s Eve when you’re both hammered.

Okay, serious head on, let’s get something out of the way: this is not my creative way of review begging. This is a call to action for indie authors: put a little good cheer into a fellow author’s festive season.

All you have to do is this: pick a short story by an author you like or someone you’ve been meaning to read for a while. Read it, write a review, and post it on 25th December. Then drop them an email or a tweet, or whatever com method you like. As if to prove my point, I don’t have any shorts published right now. Ignore my books. Pick any other author you like and do this for them.

Then wait for the story about how their family caught them messaging you back, and saying your Christmas gift was just so much more awesome than that Christmas jumper that looks like it was knitted during an ether-induced hallucination. Or something like that.

Hell, if you want to read an entire book for someone and give them that review for Christmas, knock yourself out. But the chances are you’ve got your hands full with excited kids, family get-togethers, the day-job Christmas party where a whole bunch of people come in for the next day’s shift apologising and saying they’re never drinking again….you get the idea. Keep your workload light. It might only take you a couple of hours in total to read that story and get a few scribbles together on what you thought. Do it while you wait for the turkey to cook. Do it drunk if you have to, just do it!

Another serious note, I don’t know if sites like Amazon process reviews submitted on Christmas Day, but no matter. Email it to your author. Or blog it. If you’re reading this, the chances are you have one.

Before you go, please share this post. This is the only genuine share/reblog-bait I’m going to post this Christmas. We’ve all read these articles on how helping other authors out increases our own platform….but just forget all that. Do this because you’re a generous human being who loves to read and wants to help other people find someone’s work.

If you can, do it more than once. I’ve already got 2 stories on my list. That’s right, TWO. If you’re not shy about a little self-promo you can always rec me your short story in the comments and I’ll add you to my lottery.