It has already worked for me! As I proofed my short piece in this anthology before it went to press, I discovered it was right behind an essay by fellow Canadian writer, Lori Hahnel. (Who else but a Canadian would refer to their coveted rejection letter from Mark Anthony Jarman?) Lori and I have since connected online and had a few laughs about how this book led to our introduction.
Another idea: If buying a book for your writer friend isn't in the cards, consider writing a review of their work on Goodreads or elsewhere. This gesture is always appreciated.