All year round there are birthdays and festivals, celebrations and national days, theme days and religious celebrations, breaks and holidays and a thousand other opportunities to give gifts to the writers in your life. But what on earth do you give them? It's with deep thanks to the Alliance of Independent Authors members today that we bring you a post full of ideas for gifts for the writers in your life.
**Please note, some prices are in dollars and some in pounds depending on what information was available and accessible.
Writing Devices and Tools
Despite being one of the most expensive keyboards on the market, the Qwerkywriter remains exceedingly popular. Originally in classic black, this retro-styled Bluetooth keyboard is modeled off old typewriters. It even has the click-clack sounds of an old school typewriter and enter/return-handle like a typewriter. That said, it's going to set you back a hefty price of $200-400 dollars depending on model and color (it's now in mint green, white and baby pink too).
The Freewrite is another high priced ticket item on the gifts for writers list. Originally funded through an indiegogo kickstart type project, the freewrite has been iterated into a Freewrite Traveler version that's smaller, more compact and more easily transportable. The device is good for one thing and one thing only—first drafting, no editing, pure word vomit. It's known to be tricky to edit because the device has been made for focus, distraction free wording. With no apps or social connections, you can draft and sync your drafts to the cloud. That's it. If you're an edit-as-you-go writer, this one isn't for you. But if you have a writer in your life that loves to get those words down, it's a pricey, but valuable tool for them. Depending on which model and where you buy it from, you could see prices from $400 – $900 for a device.
ALLi member Liz Harris suggested a card reader device because readers no longer want to pay cash for books and items. Liz uses a Square, with prices starting as low as £16. Other recommendations include the SumUp which start from around $12.
ALLi's Member Care and Publishing Assistant Sarah Begley recommends the Remarkable 2.The Remarkable 2 is a digital notebook, with the ability to have any paper style you like, the tone and texture of the digital page is said to be like a normal piece of paper when you use the Remarkable pen to write. It is on the pricier end, coming in at £299-£399.
Noise cancelling headphones were another popular choice. Often recommended are the Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Cancelling headphones. But they're pricey in at the $300 mark. There are also cheaper versions on the market from all sorts of providers like Sony, SkullCandy, Beats, Bang and Olufsen, JBL and Apple AirPods. If your concentration is impacted by interruptions or noise, then this kind of headphone set is for you.
And continuing with the theme of headphones, authors are increasingly using podcasts as a method for building brand awareness. If you want to be interviewed but don't necessarily want to podcast, then there's no point in buying an expensive microphone. A solid set of headphones with a good mic is all you need says Robin Phillips, ALLi's Webmaster and Tech Support. They recommend the Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 headphones which you can find here.
Last in on the tools, ALLi member Shawna Buchanan recommends an ergonomic keyboard and mouse.
Food, Drinks and Beverages
ALLi member Geraldine Byrne suggested Writers Tears. The Irish whiskey has been on the market for a while now. But it's still a fantastically humorous gift for writers. If you have a writer in your life who likes a cheeky whiskey, buying them a bottle of writer's tears will set you back around $40. It's easily purchasable from most big chain supermarket stores or online with a quick search.
Another staple in most writers diets is caffeine. Be that in the form of tea, coffee or for some, decaf. ALLi member Liezel Graham recommends tea! There's always quirky or unusual tea sets to be found if you do a Google/Amazon/Etsy search.
From coffee machines, unusual or branded mugs, travel mugs, coffee granules, vouchers to a writer's favorite coffee shop to unusual coffees or coffees mixed with other flavors, there's tonnes of gifts online for a coffee drinker.
Failing the liquid gift, what about a writer's favorite snack? Writing is hard brain graft and we need the sustenance to keep us going. From fruit baskets to nut collections to dried fruits and of course, choccies!
Merchandise and Clothing
If you know the writer-in-your-life's favorite book series, why not see if you can pick up some merchandise for them? Be it a t-shirt with a quote, a notebook, mug with book-inspired art work, socks or cushions.
Alternatively, if your writer has published their own books and they have illustrations, graphics or logos that could easily be pulled from their covers or series, then why not create them their own custom merchandise?
ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway suggests a Dryrobe. With indoor and outdoor versions, the towel/ fleece/coat is a warm option for jumper or coat style warmer. If you like writing outdoors, refuse to put the heating on until mid-winter then this warming outer layer is a great option. Prices range from £50 to £160.
Another staple in every writer's wardrobe is a pair of fingerless gloves. Just enough glove to keep your hands warm, but enough wiggle room to slap the keyboard! Check out some fingerless gloves from these creators on Etsy.
Software, Technology and Time
ALLi Director, Orna Ross recommends Sudowrite AI software to help you beat writers block.
ALLi Outreach Manager Michael LaRonn suggest Atticus. A new all encompassing software that you can write in, edit in and format.
Michael also suggests purchasing a gift card or block of hours from a virtual assistant to help with a set of tasks, email or a launch. Have a look in our ratings directory for trusted partners. Log in to Allianceofindependentauthors.org and navigate to APPROVED SERVICES.
You can't buy more time. But you can buy someone else's time to free you up to do the things you want. If you have a writer desperately trying to finish a project but struggles to cover childcare or cooking or another aspect of “adulting”. Then why not buy a couple of hours of babysitting time, or perhaps a box of quick-cook pre-prepared meals. There's plenty on the market like HelloFresh.
Stationery and Small Gifts
For those of us who like to write in sprints, having a physical timer rather than one that's on a phone is a handy gift because it stops the potential slip onto social media… just to check a notification… Kevin Partner recommended a Pomodoro timer. In the ALLi team, Sacha uses a visual timer like this one. She said:
“I like the pressure of seeing the red counter shrink. It helps to keep me focused and away from distractions.”
There's scarcely a writer alive who doesn't love a fresh new notebook which is probably why it was the most recommended item! Some of the member and teams favorites include:
- Sacha Black loves a Scribbles That Matter notebook
- ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway loves a Moleskine
- Composition Notebooks
Known for their high quality of finished products, Moo.com creates business cards and stationery. Why not buy a gift card or have business cards designed for the writer in your life.
ALLi member Elise Williams recommends handmade bookmarks, some of which you can find here.
Pens, Fountain Pens and Writing Tools
Other popular ink pens include:
Gift Certificates and Tokens
Writers are, at heart, readers. Here at ALLi we love nothing better than receiving books or book tokens. So why not ask your writer friends what their favorite bookstores are and splash out on a gift card. Be that for a digital kobo voucher or a physical store like Foyles, Barnes and Noble or Waterstones.
If you prefer to buy books rather than gift cards, you could also read our recent post on books for indie authors where we share an array of recommendations on all kinds of topics from craft to marketing, publishing and finance.
Alternatively, if the creative in your life isn't an ALLi member, what about purchasing one of our comprehensive guides? We have guides on licensing rights, publishing children's books, awards, working with bookstores, self-publishing questions and more.
You could, of course, gift an annual membership to The Alliance of Independent Authors for your writer friend. There are a plethora of benefits you can get from your membership, from the community forum, the rights desk, support desk, the free digital books and conference access to myriad discounts and deals.
Or if the writer in your life is a perpetual learner, perhaps a six month ($199) or lifetime pass ($499) to our Self-Publishing Advice conference where there's more than 100 sessions from all the past conferences. Find out more here.