Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Gifts for Writers

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

Can't give you a link here . . . the list is too long. Each state has a writer's organization. Mine is the 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 . 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 and as well.

Other Tangible Promo

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 .

Office Supplies

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!


Kelly Robinson said...

The last one is the best of all --and mostly free!

Cynthia Briggs said...

Hey, Hope!
Great gift ideas for writers. Most people would be clueless about buying gifts for a writer unless they know the writer well and are actively involved in their writing projects.

I have a close friend, though not a writer herself, who is one of my greatest fans. She has given me especially useful books like "1001 Ways to Market Your Books; On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft; Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents; Proverb Wit & Wisdom; Dictionary of Phrases & Fable (of Biography, of Idioms); and Dictionary of English Synonyms and Antonyms."

Sometimes she asks me what I want, other times not, but she's written in each book so I know the year, the sentiment and the project going on at the time.

It means a lot to me because when I use each book, I'm reminded of her support and confidence in my ability as a writer. I don't feel so alone in my writing and publishing journey.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!