Ten Places to Shop for Writer Gifts
(All prices listed are in US dollars)
1. Alibris.com: a reliable, fast and affordable source for used, rare, and OOP books, music and movies; I was impressed by the care the sellers use in packing and shipping some rare books I ordered from here. I don't see a gift card option anywhere so you might ask your writer to put up a wishlist.
2. AlphaSmart: the affordable alternative to laptops for writers; the Neo is $219, and the new wireless Palm-powered Dana starts at $350 (I've never used an AlphaSmart, but a lot of RWA writers swear by them.)
3. Barnes and Noble.com: No writer will ever turn down a bookstore gift card. If you'd also like to support writers who blog, consider buying one of their books. I'm pre-ordering Marjorie M. Liu's The Last Twilight and Rosina Lippi's The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square. I've also heard that this one is a pretty good read, but I'm supposed to be getting some free copies.
4. HisNibs.com: fine fountain pens and writing supplies; I've been a patron for years and Norman offers a great selection and the best customer service in the business.
5. Levenger: home of everything for the serious reader and writer -- often items you can't find anywhere else. If you can't decide, gift cards especially make us drool because then we have an excuse to look at everything. Check out the latest sales for good bargains.
6. Nuance.com: home of Dragon Naturally Speaking, the voice recognition software that I use to write just about everything. Read more about my experiences with the Dragon here.
7. Office Depot: where I buy all of my office supplies; great deals plus they have absolutely everything a working writer needs, and you can order online or locate a store near you. I recommend gift cards, that way your writer can get exactly what they need.
8. Palm Handheld Devices: I've owned three different Palm handhelds over ten years and I've never had a single problem with any of them (and I can't say that about any other data product I've owned.) During the 2004 hurricane season, when we were without power for more than a month, I wrote most of my novel Afterburn on my Palm handheld. I presently use a Tungsten E2 handheld, and my kids are using my older Palm models, which still work great.
9. The Writer magazine: great market listings, decent articles, subscribers get access to their online market database, and their columnists don't write up three-page-long tantrums about PBW. One year subscription $32.95.
10. Thinkmap's Visual Thesaurus: one of my favorite writing tools; must be seen to be appreciated. Buy the desktop edition for $39.95 or subscribe to the online service for $2.95/mo or $14.95/year. You can personally test drive the program at the Thinkmap site, too.
If you're still not sure where to shop for your writer, I recommend purchasing a gift card in any amount to any bookstore. Trust me, we love them.