gifts

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If you read my newsletter (you DO subscribe, right?) you know I regularly expand my comfort zone: so far in 2014 I’ve:

  • Learned how to rappel
  • Done a 5-day backpacking trip
  • Flown a helicopter
  • Went kayaking on Lake Powell during a holiday weekend
  • Learned how to rock climb
  • And these are just the highlights!

Fine me on Facebook for pictures!

Tomorrow I’m expanding my business comfort zone: I’m offering my first-ever free training call.

I LOVE speaking from stage. I can’t sing (or dance or act) but I love being handed a microphone! And this is just another “stage” – although I’ll be a voice on the phone instead of in person.

So why is this expanding my business comfort zone?

Because I’m slamming up hard against one of the misconceptions that keep people from writing their book:

Even if I publish it, nobody will read it. Nobody wants to read what I have to write.

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For the past few weeks I’ve been hard at work on a new gift to give to people when they opt-in to my newsletter list. I’d say 90% of my subscribers join my list BECAUSE they wanted the gift; the *ahem* great content in the weekly newsletter is a bonus. The other 10% find my blog, read a great article and decide they want more articles delivered to their inbox every Tuesday. So an opt-in gift is CLEARLY a really important thing to create and create well!

When I first started with email marketing, back in 2003, it wasn’t really much of a requirement to offer a free gift to encourage people to sign up. Emailed newsletters were still a novelty. (And in some industries they still are!)

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When I sat down to create my new gift, here’s the thought process I went through:

1. Who do I want to attract to my list?

My original opt-in gift was targeted to ANYONE who was interested in self-publishing. But over the course of a year since that gift was new, my target subscriber has been refined to be a coach, speaker, or author.

So when I created a NEW gift, I targeted it directly to who I wanted on my list.

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I always get the best shopping ideas from the gift buying lists! Here’s a list of gifts for writers that I’ve compiled that are sure to thrill any writer on your list. Or maybe you’ll pick up a gift or two for yourself.

With the exception of my HIGHLY recommended leather journal, all items on this list are $25 or less!

FYI: The TITLES are the links to the products!

D’Vyne Wrytes Leather Journal

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I thought long and hard about suggesting a blank journal for the writer in your life. Frankly, we all have something that is “the perfect journal” and I always get a little cranky when I get a journal that doesn’t match that ideal. But Leslie’s stuff is just fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough. I have three or four of her journals!

This isn’t under $25 BUT it is 100% worth the investment!

 

Stephen King’s On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

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I have a much loved, much dog eared version of the original. Even if you don’t like King’s terrifying stories, he offers fantastic insights into writing novels that can be applied to any type of writing.

Writer’s Block Mug

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Writer’s Block: when your imaginary friends stop talking to you
Because writers drink copious amounts of coffee!

Magnetic Poetry Kit

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Do me a favor, buy several different word kits! A great gift is to include these with a cookie sheet (double check the magnets stick) so your fav writer doesn’t even have to leave the desk!

Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows from Trader Joe’s

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Every writer knows that chocolate is brain food. And when it’s coating a light, fluffy, perfect marshmallow it’s a recipe for writing a few extra pages!

 

Paper Clip Earrings

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Hey, it’s better than putting REAL paper clips in your ears!

Scrabble

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Okay, okay MOST authors will probably already own Scrabble! Except for me. I use my parent’s board which is older than I am. Soooooo, if you’re looking for a gift for me, get me Scrabble!

 

William Shakespeare Air Freshener

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An air freshener by any other name would not smell as sweet as one decorated with the image of the immortal bard.

 

Typewriter Tote Bag

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I think this one is especially cute but any tote bag will be well received. Especially if you fill it liquid brains (aka liquor!)

Liquor

Offer up your writer her favorite brand of liquid brains and watch her eyes light up! Suggestions include:

  • Baileys (any flavor!)
  • Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
  • Fat Tire Beer
  • Mojito mix and rum

Writer’s Unwinding Cocktail, aka Caramel Apple Tinis

Ingredients

  • Green apple vodka
  • Baileys® Caramel
  • Green apple slice (garnish)

You know how a shot measuring cup has a big side and a little side? You’ll use both sides for this recipe. 1 “big” shot (1 ounce) Baileys® Caramel. 1 “little” shot (0.5 ounce) green apple vodka. Stir gently.

If you are using a traditional shot glass without a measure marks, the ratio is 1 to 0.5 Baileys® to vodka.Garnish with a green apple slice if you have it.

From Camp Cooking 101: 101 Fun & Easy Recipes from The Outdoor Princess

Pencil Eraser Hats

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I love the idea of “stocking stuffers”. Pair these with some #2 pencils and a nice sharpener and you’ve got it made!

A gift card for a massage

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After spending hours at the computer, a massage is great! But don’t get a $25 gift card. Go whole hog and spring for a gift card worth a few massages.

Red Pens & Yellow Highlighters

112613-PenHighlighterBecause we use them a lot!

 

Edgar Allan Poe Action Figure

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Because he’d look cool on your desk!

 

Novelty Flash Drive

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These are food but there are HUNDREDS of possibilities out there!

 

Pencil Socks

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How cool are these?!

Fancy Paper Clips

112613-FancyPaperClipsWe all have a deep love of office supplies. But we probably won’t buy them for ourselves!

Jane Austin Temporary Tattoos

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Not interested in temporary tattoos? You can also get bandages!

Writer Pendant

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A way to subtly announce who you are!

The Complete Book of Baby Names

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I got my book of baby names in high school. THEN I had to explain why I had it! For characters, people! But a lot of writers won’t invest in this themselves and it’s a great resource!

Buy Their Book!

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As an author, most of the time my sales do not come from my friends and family. Be a peach and buy their book and then leave a positive review.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for products that I personally use and believe have value to my readers. When you make a purchase using my affiliate link, I earn a small commission. High-five for your support!

PS: All images belong to the websites in the links.