Tis the season to suddenly need to get gifts, and have no idea what to get people. Particularly when they’re freelancers you work with, and/or are related to. This is my whirlwind, last second gift guide to useful gifts for freelancers, with a light sprinkling of frivolity.
Whether your beloved freelancer has a non-fiction/news focus, or needs to abide by the ancient literary editorial arts, you can save them some cash on professionally necessary style guides. If they need to follow the Associated Press Stylebook, you can get it in two formats. The spiral bound print edition $20.95. If they’re always the on the go, an online subscription runs $35.00. If they’re an iPhone or iPad user, you can grab them the AP Stylebook for either device, at $24.99. To purchase the AP Stylebook in print or digital subscription, visit their order page.
If they’re working for publishers who use the Chicago Manual of Style, you can grab an online subscription for $35.00 yearly, or $60 for a two year subscription. A print copy will set you back $65.00. For someone doing a lot of work on indexes, the chapter on indexes in the CMS can be bought as a stand-alone book for $10.00. To purchase the Chicago Manual of Style, or their book on indexes, visit their order page.
Pens, pen refills, and printer ink are a year in, year out expense. They’re eternally needed and rarely unwelcome. For a thorough website full of pens and pen refills, you can check out JetPens. Pro Tip: the Lamy Safari would make a great affordable fountain pen gift for freelancers, ringing it an affordable $28.00. For printer ink, you might need a spy (in the form of family or mutual friends) to tell you what kind of ink their printer takes. If you’ve got a freelancer in your life that loves the look of a lovely pen for autographs (or just looking awesome) SherpaPens sells pen cases, which is sort of like a sweet designer suit for your most trusted signing pen.
Field Notes, Moleskins, Reporter Notebooks and printer paper are all things your freelancer could need, and run a gamut of prices. For a spendier pile of paper for your favorite freelancer(s), check out Oberon Designs, whose journal covers are not only leather, but reusable (the paper parts are removable inserts). Oberon Designs Journals are $57.00.
Backup batteries, regular batteries, extension cords and charging cables are all things you usually can’t have enough of. Build up the box or bag of electricity related goodies to save the day with some iTrent backup batteries; I own two of the ones that run $61.92 , and have heard good things about the ones that run $29.95. This is the power cord I use in my office, which usually goes for $29.99, and a basic two outlet power cord for $6.03 can make friends in crowded coffee shops and airports when you and the guy across the charging kiosk see there’s only one outlet left.
Be it morning coffee, tea time, or an evening nightcap, most of the freelancers I know love a little something to keep from getting parched. For tea, I can recommend Harney & Sons and Wissotzky Tea; both Harney and Wyzotsky are kosher. My go-to coffee pick is from Ravens Brew Coffee Roasters, though I’ve been told a demitasse cup of The Blood Blood of the Earth will cause you to see through time and space. For that nightcap, alcohol’s difficult to ship. If you’re local to the freelancer(s) you’re shopping for, a lot of areas have micro-breweries, vineyards, and/or small distilleries. Sometimes local can be very, very good. If you’re not so local as to avoid the vagaries of shipping, I’d suggest some of the coffee mugs from Warren Ellis’ shop; Tweet of Twithulhu, or Science Gangster, both 13.99. For their nightcaps, I’d suggest some lovely barware; a lovely Kraken Rum pint and shot glass set for $19.99, or a set of tumblers decorated with a pattern of ADH1A, the gene that helps you metabolize alcohol, which is $25.00.
Moo Gift Cards
Whether you get them in Lilliputian or conventional sizes, Moo is responsible for a number of freelancer’s business cards. They also print postcards, stickers, labels, greeting cards, and provide either customizable items of interest.
Whether you use one of Moo’s designs, or upload your own, their shipping is prompt and the website is easy to navigate. Moo gift cards are a great gift for after your favorite freelancer has a change to their contact information, and finds themselves in need of up to date business cards. You can get them in an array of amounts.
Bonus: Moo takes Paypal!
The most lasting gift you can give a freelance is a referral. Don’t have time for a prospective client? Know they’re in the right budget range for a peer of yours? Refer them. When we refer friends to gigs, job openings and events, we’re giving them the chance to see if the opportunity is for them. The more people hear someone’s name being linked to their skills and dependability, the better their chances for getting gigs. It’s not enough to be a part of a good product, or act as a great part of a creative team. Referrals build on that work, and help people get more work. So when you can, refer folks to the people you know can do what they need. You don’t even have to wait for the holidays.
Have gift ideas for freelancers? Want to share gifts you’ve received that you loved? Share your holiday delights in the comments.