Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sowing Some Seeds

I went to my first and only conference in 2007. While there, I heard a lot about sending thank you cards.

Thank you cards? My mind stuttered over that idea. The only time I sent those were after baby showers and my wedding.

I left the conference and didn't send a thank you card to the kind authors who critiqued my sample pages or to the agent who gave me sound advice.

But the seeds had been sown. After I got my first contest results back, those seeds sprouted up and I sent thank you cards.

Now I send them all the time. To the editor who rejected me, to the judges of contests, and to the bloggers from whom I win books.

I would never have even thought of sending a thank you note if someone hadn't told me I should. Not that I wasn't thankful, I just didn't realize I should show it.

Do you send thank you cards? Who to?

46 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

Excellent advice!!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I send thank you cards. Real ones. Via snail mail (like the old days.lol.)I haven't sent any to agents because I've heard so many opinions about "no thanks necessary" if you get a rejection. Hmm, maybe if I got a really nice rejection after a partial or full request I'd consider it.

Jessica said...

Hi Katie,
I wish I would've learned to take it sooner. LOL
Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Jessica said...

Hi Karen,
Yeah, I don't send a thank you for form rejections. But if there's anything personal, then I send one, snail mail. I have some really pretty cards for that. :-)

Kristen Painter said...

I used to send them all the time. Now that I have an agent, my interaction with editors isn't so personal. And for good news, I now do gifts.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I learned that too. Great idea, especially if you've done an agent pitch.

Jessica said...

Oooh Kristen! I can't wait until I graduate to gift giving. LOL!

Jessica said...

Hi Angie,
I haven't done a real agent pitch yet, but hopefully soon... :-)
You've done one, it sounds like?

quixotic said...

Oooh, that is good advice. There is no harm in a friendly "thanks" and it can go quite a long way. Thanks for sharing.

Marybeth Poppins said...

I am a HORRIBLE Thank You card sender....with one exception...job interviews. I send a Thank You card after EVERY interview.

Now if only I could figure out the perfect time to send one out to an agent???

Jeanette Levellie said...

Jessica:
I send out ty cards or emails to:
Agents I have queried or met with, whether they accepted me or not, they spent some time reading my query.
Editors, same as above.
Co-ordinators of conferences I have attended.
Those I've won prizes from on blogs.
People who encourage me or say something that makes me a better writer.
My mom, especially if she sent money!
Someone once wrote to a famous author, asking him what were the two most important words he'd ever penned. He wrote back, "Thank you."

Thank you for the excellent post!
Jen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I send out thank-you's to those who accept my friend invitations on Facebook or who add me. I also send to bloggers.

I haven't sent many thank-you's to conference people. I suppose it's only right to show your gratitude. Thanks for reminding me. I have a conference coming up in less than a month.

Blessings,
Susan

anita said...

Twice I've sent "real" thank you cards. One, to the first editor that ever read one of my MS front to back (I also sent her Godiva) even before I was repped, and recently I sent a thank you card to my agent for working so hard on the book we're subbing.

But I've always sent thank you emails, even for form rejections. I've heard differing opinions about whether or not to send them for those, but honestly, somehow it gives me a sense of empowerment to reply to those rejections immediately with a pat yet professional "Thank you for your timely response." Somehow it makes me feel like I'M sending a form letter back and got the last word in. Snort!

And better yet, you never know what agent might be having a miserable day, and your nice response in lieu of the vitrol some aspiring authors spew might make a lasting impression ... in a good way.

Don't burn bridges, EVER. That's always been my philosophy. :-)

Cindy said...

I've started to send thank you cards--and it's fun! Someone sent one to me after winning a book on my blog and it just made my day. I started after that. I realize how important it's going to be after my book comes out--and there are already so many people I want to thank for how supportive they've been!

Jessica said...

Hi Katie,
That's how I feel, that there's no harm in it. And who knows whose day the thank you will brighten. :)

Jessica said...

Whoa MaryBeth,
I've never even thought of sending a thank you after a job interview! What an awesome idea!!

Jessica said...

Hi Jen,
I love that author quote. Thank you for sharing!

Jessica said...

Oooh, Susan, sounds exciting! Are you going to the Philadelphia one?

Jessica said...

Excellent philosophy Anita. I totally agree, and you're right about a thank you making someone feel better.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I am the worst "Thank you" note person ever. It took embarrassingly long to send them out after my wedding, although I think they (whoever they is) say a bride has a year. But I see the wisdom in Thank You cards professionally.

Jessica said...

Cindy,
That's awesome you've started. It is fun, right? I just get my thank you cards from Walmart. Where'd you get yours?

Jessica said...

LOL Jessie! My mom had to remind me to send my thank yous after my wedding, and then I forgot someone and my grandma had to call me. This is a new thing for me, but I like it alot. And professionally, yeah, I think it says so much about an author.

Jody Hedlund said...

I'm still learning too, what's appropriate for thank you's. I wrote thank you's to the contest judges who judged my entries. I try to be appreciative of the good things that people do for me and tell them thanks, but beyond that, I'm not sure what's protocol!

Terresa said...

Thank you cards show graciousness, professionalism, and attention to detail. I try and always remember them, whether sent via quick email, snail mail, or in person.

Jessica said...

Jody, I don't know what protocol is either. But I think if someone touches you or helps, then it doesn't hurt to send one. It's great that you send them to contest judges!

Jessica said...

Exactly Terresa. :-)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Not near enough. Thanks for the reminder, Jessica!!!!!

Jessica said...

No prob. Eileen. I'm sure you do fine though. :-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

In writing, I definitely send thank yous to judges and all book reviewers (good or bad reviews) :)

Jessica said...

Ahh, book reviewers. I hadn't even thought of that. Great tip, Jennifer! Thank you.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

i still want to send thank you cards for the judges of Genesis....gosh...where have the months gone?

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Yes, I'm headed for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. This is my 5th or 6th year. (I lose track.)

Marlene brings in excellent editors, agents, and authors. I'm looking forward to it.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Genny said...

Yes, I send thank you cards. I agree; so important. There have been a couple of times, too, where thank you cards/emails have opened the door for further discussion with an editor regarding manuscripts edits, feedback, etc.

Jessica said...

LOL Jeannie,
Get on it girl! But you did move and I don't think it matters how long. I got a few thank yous late but I still appreciated them very much. :-)

Jessica said...

Woohoo Susan!
Are you planning to pitch your book?

Jessica said...

Hi Genny,
That would be awesome for that to happen.

Diane said...

It just gives us more of a thankful spirit too.

Terri Tiffany said...

hey --my husband sent a thank you email every time he has an interview or doesn't get a job. Never know!

Jessica said...

Diane,
I think I agree with that. Because some judges are unnecessarily harsh, but sending them a thank you helps me to look past the surface of their comments to any helpful advice I might've missed.
Thanks for stopping by!

Jessica said...

So true Terri! Your hubby sounds like a wise man. :-)

Danyelle said...

I do my best. Sometimes they're a few months late, but it's all good. :D

Jessica said...

LOL Danyelle.

Pen Pen said...

I should do this! I've never thought of it either, but I can see how it would be appreciated!
Do you send all paper ones, or do u send electronic thank yous too?!

Pen Pen said...

AND-

Thank you for posting this! Now I know!! :)

Jessica said...

Hey Pen-Pen,
It depends. Some contests are electronic, so then I send electronic ones. But the editor who read my work used snail mail, so I sent a snail mail card.
It's funny right? I've been thankful, but I never, ever even thought of sending a card until someone told me I should. Then it was like a little light blinked on. LOL

Deb Shucka said...

I try to send a thank you of some sort to anyone who has extended themselves for me. Sometimes via e-mail, but I'm old fashioned (and old) enough to prefer cards.