December is coming up and we all know what that means…
(Also some other stuff, but mostly my birthday) So, since birthdays often come with gift giving, and I’ve had nearly everyone in my life asking me what I wanted, I thought I’d make a handy-dandy reference list of things that are good gift ideas for writers.
- A copy of your favourite book
To make it more special, add a personalised note inside. All the better if it’s in the genre that your writer likes best.
Some authors (like me) sell signed copies of their books with personalised notes inside. Others sell bookplates, that you can stick inside their books to make them signed copies. But even if you can’t get a signed copy, even if you just get the most generic mass-market paperback version of the book, it will still be special because you’ve picked it out (and possibly written a note inside)
- Notebooks can be good but also a risk
You need to know important things like whether your writer even writes by hand (I do but I know plenty of people who don’t). You need to know whether they have any sort of notebook based preferences: size, binding style, page type. (my personal preference? A5, ringbound, lined.
As with notebooks, it’s important to know whether your writer even writes by hand and whether they have any preferences. My in-laws thought I wrote with the cheap ballpoint pens because I couldn’t afford a nice one (a fair estimation, however, not entirely accurate). They bought me a very nice, refillable pen. Unfortunately it’s also very heavy and too big for my child-sized hands so I never ended up using it. The next year they bought me a full box of the cheap pens I actually write with. I get all smiley whenever I need to get a new pen from the box because it was a gift. It’s a really nice way to add enjoyment to something otherwise mundane.
- Pen drives
Because we all have to backup our work and it’s not only an excellent reminder to do so, but a really useful tool to make it happen. Plus you can get fun looking ones.
- Gloves (fingerless)
The cost of living crisis is real and keeping hands warm and healthy is vital to any writer who wants to keep going for as long as they have stories to tell.
- Mugs – or cold drink containers if you live somewhere warmer/less cold drink focused
- If you’re feeling fancy, mug warmer
(again, see prev point about warm places Vs cool places, maybe fancy ice cube trays if your particular breed of writer like cold drinks better)
- Their own merch, or merch you made for them that doesn’t actually exist
I run giveaways for Guardian Cadet mugs from time to time (and if you buy a signed copy of Merry Arlan: Breaking The Curse from me this November you can win some other book swag like bookmarks and short story zines). But other things you can do is take quotes from their books stories that you like and get them printed on things (like mugs or clothes or mouse pads). My in-laws printed me a Merry Arlan: Breaking The Curse hoodie.
- Sticky notes
(I won’t keep hounding about preferences) Sticky notes are useful for plotting (or macro-scoping in my case), as well as leaving continuity notes, reminders, annotating proof copies, or marking places in books that you want to come back to.
- Reading journal
So they can make notes about the things they liked in books they read and how they would emulate or take inspiration from those things.
- Writing craft books
Provided you can take a gander at their current set, this is particularly good if they’ve been going on about one particular book for the last 3 years (Do you read this, lovely wife? I still want that book)
- Books in their genre that you think they’ll like
You can use their other likes to start building a potential reader profile, whether you use their works or their other interests.
- Or, if all else fails, a book token
Do those exist elsewhere? It’s like a gift card you can use in any bookshop for as much books as there is money on the token. I think a bookshop specific card would work too but the beauty of a Book Token is it can be used in any bookshop.
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and I’ll see you all next week for another Short Story.
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