The holidays are approaching, and authors around the country are bracing themselves for an onslaught of notebooks and pens. While they appreciate the gesture, almost every one of them would rather have something more creative. Here are 20 choices, for every budget from indulgent to free or almost free.
Treadmill Desk Most authors don't get enough exercise, sitting at a computer typing all day long. Combine that with workouts and give your favorite author a treadmill desk. He'll get in those steps while working on his latest novel.
Conference Trip Whether your favorite author writes science fiction, romance, or nonfiction, there's a writer's conference somewhere in the world that's right for her. Set her up with con tickets and a hotel room for the weekend.
Freewrite Formerly known as the Hemmingwrite, the Freewrite is a high-tech word processor with a low-tech hipster cool. Ideal for distraction-free writing, it saves to the cloud but has no internet access.
Laptop Authors who are serious about their craft often feel the need to have a backup computer, in case of failure on their main machine. Whether it's a laptop, a netbook, or a Surface-type pad with keyboard, backup hardware will be a welcome gift.
Writing Retreat Sometimes you've just got to write. Give your favorite author the chance to do just that. Arrange a hotel room or cabin in an inspirational spot and include prepaid room service or restaurant vouchers.
Publishing Bundle from Infinity I could'nt help myself. A great gift and we would love to help!
Audible Subscription Authors love to read, but most of them don't have enough time to read all they want. Give the gift of an Audible subscription so your author can hear books while driving, working out, or just doing chores around the house.
Graze If your favorite author is a snacker, make sure she's snacking on something healthy. Get her a subscription to Graze, Fruit of the Month Club, or another healthy food delivery service.
Massage Sitting at a desk all day is murder on the body. Give the gift of a massage or spa day to rejuvenate your author.
Writer's Digest The go-to magazine for authors, give a subscription and they'll think of you all year long.
Bag It Give your favorite author an indulgent laptop bag or messenger bag in buttery leather, soft suede, steampunk fashion, or whatever he'd love but never spend the money on.
On a Budget
Aqua Notes Inspiration comes in the strangest places, including the shower. These special note pads stick to the shower wall, along with the matching pencil. Now your author can write down his thoughts even if he's under water.
Stickup Calendar Many authors find inspiration in writing down their daily word counts. Find stickup calendars or other charts to put on the edge of a monitor or the wall behind his desk.
Dragon Naturally Speaking Dictation software can allow authors to create on the go or just while resting their hands and wrists. The home version of this software can often be found for relatively little money. Your favorite author can upgrade later if she likes the program.
Literary T Find a t-shirt with your author's favorite book, a literary saying, or just a great book cover. If he never wears t-shirts, do the same thing with a coffee mug or water bottle.
Chocolate Good chocolate. The kind that struggling authors never spend their money on. Enough said.
Free or Almost Free
Book Review The best way you can show your favorite author you like his books is by writing an honest review of them. Reviews help sales and good reviews are good on the ego.
Social Media If you know a lot about social media, offer to give your author a month or two of free posts, tweets, and Pins about her work. You'll be taking a burden off her back, and freeing her up to write more often.
Food Offer to come over and cook dinner once a week. Make multiple meals and freeze them for eating later. Fill her crockpot every Thursday morning. Authors get caught up in their work, and no one likes that feeling of being hungry and having nothing ready to eat.
Website If you know anything about Wordpress or any other website design software, offer to build a simple site for free.
Flash Drives Find them on sale during the holiday season for an inexpensive gift, or search online for free flash drives if you need a gift that's absolutely free. Many companies offer free flash drives as incentives. Your favorite author may not care about the company that's advertised on it, but she'll use the drives for all her work.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!