Thank you but noooooo

Dear Miss Snark,

I am thinking about how to thank my agent, when she sells my book. She's been terrific and I know I'll want to do more than send an e-mail saying so. She will be thanked in my Acknowledgements, of course, but I think I will want to do more.

I know that you have said you prefer a simple thank you note to an actual present from a client---no chocolates or flowers or knickknacks to clutter up Snark Central.

What about an inscribed copy of the book you sold? Would that be a welcome gift? I assume you own copies of the published books you have sold, so that an inscribed copy would be nice. Or not?

Thanks for your time.

I know you mean well but an inscribed copy of the book is like getting a dustmop for Christmas. Not only do I have one, it's not quite a gift.

Here's the tough thing about giving gifts to agents. You don't know them very well. Yes there are exceptions but I have clients who love me to pieces and have never laid eyes on me and haven't ever had a personal conversation with me.

Some ideas: ask her other authors what they've given her. Make a contribution to a cause she cares about. Write a letter to her mom telling her that her kid is the cat's pajamas. (I do this for my authors sometimes too). Make a donation to her high school scholarship fund, or her college scholarship fund.

But, really, mostly, just a heartfelt, hand written thank you is enough. You'd be surprised how often we don't get that.


Elektra said...

Perhaps a lovely pen?

Anonymous said...

Seems like it could get overwhelming, receiving gifts from every author for every book you sell for them. After a point, you'd need to catalog the gifts to keep track of who sent you what. Easier for the agent if one just thanks her with a nice card and in the acknowledgements in the front of the book.

Anonymous said...

A piece of art is always good. Like a personalized cartoon. I, for one, would be overwhelmed with joy to get a personalized cartoon in a nice frame. I believe I would maybe even swoon.

Don't judge me. I need money to turn on my air-conditioning.

Lydia said...

I do big baskets of homebaked goodies. Goodies from strangers is scary. Cheesecake brownies from someone you know is welcome. :-) This spring, my yearly basket to my publishing house was so big that my editor was in stitches because she kept getting thank-you emails not only from her floor (her imprint) but from all over the building--and one even from across the street! Many people in the publishing business are young and single and far away from home-baked treats--many others are older and too BUSY for home-baked treats. Both groups enjoy good baking.

I sent a gormet four-tier cake (Orange-Raspberry Dark Chocolate Cake with Orange Ganache and Orange Buttercream) to my publisher to celebrate my debut novel going back to press the week it was released. They enjoyed that, too. Asked me where I had it baked and decorated. ;-)

This is all part of my evil plan to ensure that whoever I meet in Manhattan is always fatter than I am....

If baking isn't your strong suite (I love feeding people and am happy to be good at it, and most of the things I make are unique-to-me or otherwise tweaked recipes), then find something else. But things that get used up are probably preferable to things that will hang around forever and take up room.

Anonymous said...

The Snarkiods are totally rebelling against Miss Snark. Did you hear what she said? NO GIFTS!!

Anonymous said...

Thank your agent by not immediately setting up your own blog when you're work is published. If I see another blog by a chic-lit writer filled with gloating (disguised as complaints) about the demands of "being a writer" (reviewing galleys, touring, revising, oy vey) I think I'll lose it. No agent wants to see that, I'll bet.

magz said...

Dear Miss Snark,

Your kindness and unselfishness in sharing your wit and wisdom has earned my undying gratitude.

From the heart of my bottom, I thank you. May the sun shine forever upon your charms, and may George Clooney call begging for a date.
Your loyal Snarking, Magz