I think this holiday season finances are going to be pretty tight for everyone, so I'm putting together some gift ideas for/from writers that are low- or no-cost.
One thing that's been popular for some time now is to make your own photo calendar. I get at least one every year from some family member, and I never have enough calendars, so they are much appreciated.
If you're an author and would like to custom-design a calendar as a gift for your readers (and do a little promotion at the same time) you can use your cover art, your upcoming release dates, scheduled booksignings and other personal appearances. You can also do a calendar with a specific theme, like a novel series or genre. I downloaded some calendar templates in Word today, messed around a bit with them, and began putting together a Darkyn series calendar:
Many photo-editing programs have make-your-own-calendar options, and you can also get a bunch of calendar-making freeware online (for links, see the Calendar section in my Index of Freeware and Online Tools for Writers here.)
Once you have your calendar put together, you can make it available as a .pdf file on your blog or web site, and that way any reader who wants it can download it from there. This would also be a fun project to do for a group blog or with a bunch of writer friends (just divide the year up and let everyone do one, two or three months.)
There is no limit to what you can use for your calendar: personal photos, inspirational images, even some of your favorite posts from your blog could be fun. Remember to give proper credit to any images you use from the internet (and don't sell the calendars you make unless you have the photographer/artist's permission.)
2009 Calendar dates and holidays
Create a Calendar in Word by Susan C. Daffron