Christmas is less than two weeks away.

Here are some things you can buy for £5.

John Lewis Christmas card £4.95
John Lewis Christmas card £4.95
Cutlery that doesn’t work (online £4.99)
Cutlery that doesn’t work (online £4.99)

Inflatable crown (online £4.99)

Alternatively you can buy a book. Remember that you can gift Kindles now (it’s the box on the top right):

For Xmas gifts, though, an actual paper book looks better under the tree. You can still findthe odd bargain. For example, you can buy a Young Adult paperback for a mere £4.27.


Dark Magic is, admittedly, only a novella – though it contains approximately 33,000 more words than a Christmas card and will probably last rather longer than an inflatable crown. Alternatively, you could buy the second in the series about James Burke, Burke and the Bedouin. (The first, Burke in the Land of Silver is, for some reason, more expensive at £5.99.)

If you want to go mad and spend up to £10 there are masses of books available from independent authors. Here are just a few I have read and can recommend.

Why am I just talking about independent (including small press) authors? Because, frankly, they need all the support they can get. Becoming a best-seller (or even a moderately good seller) is seriously difficult even with a major publishing house behind you. As an independent, or with a publisher with a tiny marketing budget, it’s almost impossible. But having a contract with a big publisher is no guarantee of quality and, though there are some truly terrible self-published books out there, there are also some undiscovered gems. Here are a few of my favourite books by authors you have never heard of. Clicking the links will take you to my reviews.

Have a look and consider buying some of these books as a Christmas gifts. They’re surely better presents than beer glasses with breasts.

Novelty beer glass
Boob Beer Glass (online £12.99)
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