Thank you. It takes very little time to say those two words, but in our hurry-up world, many of us neglect to convey our gratitude even though we have the best of intentions. When we do follow through, though, we make a favorable impression.
After each birthday and Christmas throughout my childhood, my mother made sure my sisters and I took the time to acknowledge the gifts we’d received. She sat us down and had us write our thank you notes. I didn’t always appreciate her etiquette lessons then, but I do now. Knowing how to craft a personal, sincere thank you note is a valuable skill, one I employ to this day.
While email missives are nice, people remember those who take the time to pen a few words of thanks. Suspense novelist James Grippando gave a tribute to his editor in Publishers Weekly in a June 23 article, “Untitled.” One of his comments related to her “impeccable” manners: “Thank-you notes are always handwritten—never e-mailed.” He noticed.
Author Mary DeMuth shared strategies for getting to know editors in her June 26 blog post. “If I’ve had a memorable conversation [with an editor at a conference,] meaning they’ve asked for something or seem to be interested in what I’ve pitched, I’ll write a hand-written thank you note before I follow up with a query letter or proposal.” I’m sure they notice.
In this day of cyber communication, a handwritten thank you is a gift. By taking the time to write one, we show the recipient our gratitude in a memorable way. We not only set ourselves apart, which is important in the publishing world, but we get the joy of knowing we brightened someone’s day.