Uh oh. It's about too late to ship anything to you, and you forgot to buy for your favorite writer. Fear not. Here are a few ideas that can be instantly delivered and highly appreciated by your writing fanatic. Get two while you're at it . . . so you can enjoy the gift with your buddy.
Gotham Writers Workshop Gift Certificate
You can't beat the gift of better writing, and nobody has a better reputation than Gotham Writers. Whether attending in person at their NY locations or online, you can't go wrong with this gift. Gifts start at $50.
Membership to a Writers Organization
South Carolina Writers Workshop. Florida is the Florida Writers Association. Missouri is the Missouri Writers Guild. You get the drift. Memberships range from $25 to $55, from my experience.
Entry Fee to a Writing Contest
Again, too many options to post here, but if you have access to TOTAL FundsforWriters, you have a long list of potentials. Come to think of it, why not give the gift of TOTAL? The newsletters lists 15-20 contests every two weeks, and FundsforWriters is running a $9 subscription special in December! Cost: $5 to $75.
Huh? Think about it. If your the writer you care for has books or a writing service, he needs to advertise. Purchase advertising for your proofreader, an editor, an author, an illustrator, or copywriter. Advertising can be on a blog, in a newsletter, or in a magazine. The cost is whatever you make it. Ads can be as little as $10 or as high as $500. Don't forget the advertising options on Facebook, either. How about GoogleAdSense? How about in a newsletter like FundsforWriters?
Business Cards and Postcards
Give a gift certificate to Vistaprint, or the printer of your preference. The gift certificates start at $5.99. A very thick, cardstock business card and postcard service is Moo.com . I just ordered some cards, and I'm VERY pleased with them. Thicker cards seem to be the fab thing these days, so don't neglect Minted.com and Peartreegreetings.com as well.
While you'd love to wrap the actual coffee mug donning the cover of your friend's latest book, you still have time to grab a gift certificate to a promotional item store like CafePress.com .
Who doesn't hate to buy ink and toner? How about paper? I often give baby diapers to new mothers because 1) they need them and 2) they hate to buy them. I'd be ecstatic if someone bought me toner for my laser jet. It lasts me for six months . . . and that's a gift that keeps on giving. Gift certificate for Staples, Office Depot, or any office supply venue.
And finally . . .
Go on a campaign to promote the writer's work. Tweet, Like and spread the news on Facebook, write a blog, comment on other blogs, review on Goodread, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Create a book trailer. Design an ad campaign. Create a new logo. Provide a graphic cover design. These cost little to nothing and require little more than your time and creativity. Now that's a gift from the heart. Keep a list, write it up in a fancy way, and put paper and a bow on it, and you'll make a writer's day when he opens it Christmas morning.
You'll be your writer's best Santa of 2011 with these ideas. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!