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Today is my birthday.  I've gotten several greetings on Facebook, but there are a few other things you can do to celebrate an author's birthday, or any other occasion.  It only takes a few seconds of your time, no money, and it will be greatly appreciated.

Cheap birthday gifts to give an author:
Write a review on Amazon for her books, if you've read them.  It doesn't have to be a great essay, just a few sentences will do.  Be honest.  Even bad reviews help, because once a book has 20 reviews it will start to be indexed in the site's search engine.

Click the yes button on "was this review helpful?" on another review on Amazon.  Your response will help the book get more attention from the site's search engine, and will also encourage the reviewer to keep reviewing books.

Click "like" and "share" on an author's post that her book is featured on a blog or online
article.  For example, this one

Click the tweet, G+ or like buttons on the blog article.

Doing any of these things is better than just saying "happy birthday".  It's actually making the birthday happy.
Self published authors need to be on the lookout for inexpensive opportunities to promote their books.  One opportunity is to swap blog posts with another blogger who has a site about books or book reviews.. Swapping posts means that both authors get a chance to promote their books on another site.  I post about your book, and you post about mine.
To participate in this opportunity, it is important for the author to have a story that is already written and ready to go.  The story should read like a feature or author interview, not an ad.  That means that all opinions should be put in direct quotes and attributed to someone.  Instead of saying "this book will change your life" like an ad would say, a feature story would attribute it as someone's opinion--"This book changed my life," said Joe Smith.
The story should contain all the information the reader needs to know before making a purchase; what the book is about, the author's motivation or reason for writing it, the author's qualifications or past publications, the average star rating on Amazon or Good Reads, quotes from reviews, and the purchase info of price, binding, ISBN number and where to buy it.  The story can also include the author's social media sites such as a web site, Facebook page or Twitter address.  If the story is ready to go, most bloggers will edit it to suite their style, and appreciate the ease of posting the article.
The author then finds bloggers that are willing to swap stories.  One place is on Linked In, in the Book Promotion group.  Triberr, a service for bloggers who want to expand their reach on Twitter, also has a discussion group for bloggers who are seeking guest posts.
It's a simple "you rub my back, and I'll rub yours" trade.  It's best to find bloggers in the same subject or genre as your book, because that is where your customers are.  An author who blogs about science fiction is not the best place to promote a romance title, but a blog about relationships and dating would have readers who are interested in falling in love.