Thank you notes

I was lucky enough to receive a personalized rejection from an agent this week, with an invitation to send my next work to her if I haven't already received representation. I've heard that other writers send thank you cards in this situation, and wondered if this would be an appropriate thing to do? I'm very grateful for what she did, and I'd like to express that without seeming like a total loon.

It's never wrong to express appreciation.
A nicely written note amidst the flotsam and jetsam of the slush pile is always opened first.
No sparkles, no chocolates, no gin soaked hankies, no edible panties (although Killer Yapp does enjoy those), just a nice card saying "you rock Miss Snark" is great.

I'll be watching my mailbox.


David Isaak said...

Back when I was in agent-search mode (have a great one now, so things do change if you hang in there), I always expressed thanks to anyone I felt gave my pages a serious read and bothered to comment. (Generally sent my thank-yous snail-mail; I think it means more.)

An agent's reading time is their most limited resource, and if they not only bother to read but to write a personal note, they deserve a nice note in return, thanking them.

I made this a general practice even when their personal note was unflattering or mean-spirited. Novelist Carolyn See recommends this as a form of 'emotional jiu-jitsu'--they made you feel bad, but rather than sitting and fretting, you behave as graciously as you wish they would have, and just boomerang that energy back at them. Trust me--this is a great way to get the pain of rejection out of your system; and you get to be 'the nice one' at the same time.

Bridget Medora said...

I agree -- always take the high road.

mysterygirl said...

When shopping my first novel around, several agents took the time to provide specific feedback on why my manuscript didn't work for them. I ALWAYS sent a thank-you note. And in return, a couple of agents emailed me back, inviting me to contact them again with my next completed project.

Caryn said...

I always heard it's best to send a TY note after an agent appointment at a conference, yet when I went on a popular writing listserve to ask for suggestions of what to include in the list (this was before I discovered Miss Snark), the ONLY response I received was from a listmember who told me she didn't think it was really necessary to send a note; just thank them in the cover letter I sent with my partial! I ignored the advice, of course, and sent a note. Haven't heard back yet, but am hoping for the best.