[Editor’s note: this guide has been updated for Christmas 2016: gift away!]
There are two ways to gift ebooks to your savvier friends and rellies (if you already know how, why not check out our recommendations for 2015?). You could simply buy your loved one a gift card for the ebook platform of their choice (make sure it’s the right one though – a Kobo user might not be thrilled with a Kindle voucher!). Then they can choose the books that they want without your judgement/sagely literary wisdom. If you want to directly gift an ebook, at present your options are a little more limited. Here we’ve just covered the most popular ebook platforms:
Kindle: Surprisingly, Amazon doesn’t offer a gifting feature for Kindle ebooks in the UK (though the American version of the site does). Instead, consider buying an Amazon gift voucher and uploading a custom image of your intended book’s cover, which will give the gift token a bit more purpose. You could even include the book’s ISBN or ASIN (Amazon’s identification code) on the voucher to make it easier for the recipient to find the book you want to give them.
iBooks: To gift an ebook via iTunes simply open the iTunes store, find the book you want to send, and hit the Share icon in the upper right-hand corner. From there simply tap Gift and you’re away. Regular iTunes gift tokens can also be used to buy ebooks. See Apple’s own guide here.
Kobo: Strangely, though Kobo announced that direct ebook gifting was incoming some time ago, this feature is still unavailable as of right now. The website even features a page promoting the feature, but when you try to do it it’s nowhere to be seen – so regular Kobo gift cards will have to do.
Google Play Books: This year Google added a facility to give ebooks as gifts, but it can only be done via the Google Play Store app, not the website. To buy simply go to any book’s page in the Play Store and click the Gift button on the left (directly below ‘Free Sample’).