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.