December 19, 2013 Last Updated 8:17 am

Christmas gifts for publishing pros: from tablets and PCs, to software and subscriptions

My favorite of time of year when I worked at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner was Christmas. While ad agencies were shutting down for the holiday, we were stuck in the office, manning the phones that didn’t ring, and making sure the composition room had the right ad copy for those issues to publish over the holidays. It was a little bit like A Christmas Carol, with work going on right up until the time the manager blew the whistle and the festivities could begin.

fezziwig-smOne Christmas one of my real estate clients came by to deliver some presents. The front desk guard rang me to come on down. There was my Studio City realtor standing next to cases and cases of wine and hard liquor – he loved playing Santa Claus. I tried to beg him off, but he would have none of it. So with the help of the guard, we carried the cases of goods up to the classified phone room where I took a case for myself and let the rest be divided up among the staff. (Political correctness was not an issue back then when it came to newspapers and alcohol.)

This year I’ve already given myself a present in the form of a new iPad mini – the retina display model that really does smoke my old iPad when it comes to surfing the web and handling the biggest digital magazine apps.

Looking around the web one can find deals for your publishing friends:

Quark is still offering 20 percent off QuarkXPress 10; and Adobe is currently selling a bundle of Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for $9.99 a month.

Surface-discountIf you need a new PC or Mac there are plenty of deals out there (more for PCs, of course). Best Buy is discounting their MacBook Airs by $100.

When it comes to tablets, both Best Buy and Microsoft are selling the Surface at the same discounted rate of $329.99 – a $50 discount. Microsoft also has two more days of holiday deals – today they are offering JBL headphones at $49.99.

Amazon is offering its Kindle HDX on an installment plan: $57.25 per payment (four total).

Apple is not as into the whole holiday discounting thing. The best you’ll get from Apple this year is free 2-3 day shipping on Macs and other merchandise.

As far as content is concerned, Barnes & Noble is offering free shipping when you spend $75.

The Chicago Tribune just let me know that they have discounted their membership fee to Printers Row to $79, a $20 discount. And the NYT is sending out promotions to its registered members offering a digital subscription deal at $5 for the first 12 weeks.

I don’t know if any of these deals gets you very excited. Honestly, I’m waiting until after Christmas to visit my local cooking store to see what deals they have. Both the US and UK are reporting rather lackluster holiday sales so far, so maybe there there will be some good deals after the holiday. Then again, this is the last weekend before Christmas so there might be the perfect bargain for you to complete your holiday shopping.

I know quite a number of publishers that are still looking for the perfect present: a 12 page schedule at full rate from that lost customer. Here’s hoping Santa puts in their stocking.

Update: A few readers reached out to remind me that I should have included our own digital magazine here. Well, Tablet Publishing may not be discounted for the holiday, but at $3.99 it will hardly break the bank. Also, iTunes allows you gift apps!

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