A Snarkling gets out his Amex card as he inquires:
Do many of your clients give you gifts--a bottle of gin for example--when you sell their books? Do you get upset with clients who don't give you gifts?
Miss Snark has some treasured gifts from wonderful clients BUT she strongly discourages gifts when it is possible to do so without looking churlish.
The reasons are these:
1. Miss Snark is a devoted minimalist. That means she does not have knickknacks, cutesypoo items, paperweights, mugs, or decorative cross stitch in her office or her lair. Miss Snark barely has books. It's not a good idea to send any of these things because it wastes your money and although Miss Snark's neighbors stand in line for her trash, they are not your intended recipient.
2. Of the items Miss Snark does keep in abundance (here's where the gin enters in) she has specific taste and doesn't want to find out you can't tell good gin from bad. I assure you there is nothing worse than getting bad gin, unless it's bad cigars.
3. If there are things Miss Snark actually WANTS (the subscription to Italian Vogue, ice skates for when hell freezes over) she will buy them herself. Of course, if you want to give her a house in Bermuda...feel free.
4.. Business gifting is abominable. It's spawned an entire industry of professional gift buyers but they are the only people who really benefit. It creates terrible anxiety in the giver (oh my god, did I send enough? too much? does it look like I'm fawning? unappreciative?). It creates a burden on the recipient (dang, I sold her book, now she's sent me a mink coat, how am I going to tell her I'm letting my assistant handle her work cause I never want to talk to her again).
If Miss Snark sells your book, you send a hand written note that says thanks. You can send a Christmas card. You can even come to New York and buy her a drink. But save the gifts for your family and friends.