Above and beyond

People blog a lot about authors. How they should do this, shouldn’t do that, and it’s so shocking when they do this other thing. Then everyone gets to huff with righteous indignation and shake a virtual finger.

Frankly, I’m bit bored with that.

So I’m going another way today. I’m going to talk about readers.

I’ve been mailing prizes for several years now. And I’ve sent out a lot of stuff. Sometimes I don’t even get an email letting me know the item arrived safely, or a thank-you for the prize I sent. And that’s fine, although it would be nice to know if something goes awry in the mail. This isn’t about prize etiquette, really, or even author – reader interactions. It’s about how people relate to each other.

More specifically, this post is devoted to Lori T, who is one of the most courteous and mannered individuals I’ve had the pleasure to encounter. See, in all the years I’ve been sending prizes, this is the first time I ever received something in the mail back.

A thank-you card.

It’s been years since I got one of those for anything I did, great or small. Are such old-fashioned gestures going out of style? I’m guilty of sending an e-card or an e-mail, when maybe I should take the time to write out a card to show the other person how much I appreciate them. Lori T. has reminded me that people will appreciate that extra step… because I certainly did.

I’ll treasure this card always. Thanks, Lori. I needed a reminder.

Posted in FYI, random

13 Responses to Above and beyond

  1. Lauren Dane says:

    I frequently get emails letting me know the prize has arrived, which I do appreciate because then I know. Our mail can be iffy and stuff gets lost frequently so I also appreciate hearing when something *hasn’t* arrived so I can resend!

    This year a reader hand carried a thank you note to me to RT becuase my PO box kicked it back to her. That was so above and beyond! So thanks to Laura K for making me smile.

    It’s always a treat to be thanked although I don’t expect it because I know how busy people are.

  2. JaimeK says:

    I think you have to say thank you – not only is it cool to have won, but why would an author continue with communication and contests for readers without some kind of “hey you rock!?” I guess you cannot expect it, however, a little appreciation goes a long way. IMO

    A month or so ago I won a rockin’ package from RT courtesy of Shiloh Walker – not only did it come at a good time – but it was the coolest. I fired off an e-mail to her, not only to say thanks again, but to tell her it arrived. It was a big/heavy box that cost a lot to send and I was thrilled.

    Okay, so now that I write all that…I think you should expect a thank you. It is only right.


  3. Michele says:

    I find email easier because stamps are harder to get here (if I’m out the corner store charges $.50 a pop for them!) honestly I’ve gone back and forth because I used to send thank yous for everything, then I saw many publishing people complaining, saying thanks yous for rejects or comments or whatnot just fills up their boxes and ends up in the trash :( I think we might also be entering a time where courtesy is neither observed nor respected, but just seen as a waste of time.

  4. Ann Aguirre says:

    You know, that’s the thing, Michele.

    I don’t think thank-yous should be sent all the time. But when you really appreciate what a person did, that’s when they should be used. Because they do take more time than an email – -and they aren’t free. It shows you mean it when you say thanks.

    And I’m going to make a point of using them for special occasions myself from now on.

  5. Lori T says:

    Hi Ann,

    Wow…is all I can say! I was so thrilled to have won Wanderlust and I appreciate you to!!

    I just want to let everyone know that Wanderlust is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!

  6. Lori T says:

    My first post…so did not really express what I wanted to say.

    I think that it is very important to take a minute and really let people know how much you appreciate them! While this probably shows my age…39…I love writing letters. I really don’t do it very often with the exception of my Grandma who loves to open her mailbox and see a little something in the mail from me and one of my closest friends who I don’t see enough of even though she lives in the same town as I do.

    I think that it is the very least that I could have done since you took the time to send me a copy of your amazing book. So, again I just want to say thank you!

    See now this is so much what I really wanted to say…I think the above post kind of made me sound a bit snotty. Sorry for the back to back post.

  7. Melissa Blue says:

    When I was little saying thank you, your welcome, and excuse me were common and expected. Not so much now and I have to say I fall into the crowd of not sending out thank you cards.

    I did so recently *someone gave me their old computer sans internet. I’m beyond grateful* I never felt better because the person appreciated the fact I took the time to thank him.

    So, it’s true a little can go a long way.

  8. Jolene says:

    that was very nice to recieve.. i always thank the author ive won from usually on the blog post, and i always try to thank them with an email.. I am guilty though that once in a while i lapse at it..
    but as a reader, i sometimes wonder if i email a thank you and then another after ive read the book, does an author get tired of hearing from us? and do they think were being pesty about it.. i dont want to come off like some sort of stalker fan.. lol..

  9. Ann Aguirre says:

    Just speaking for myself, Jolene, I never get tired of hearing from readers. I enjoy getting emails to confirm receipt of a book and I like hearing what that reader thought about the story.

  10. Ann, I had a similar lovely experience with blogger Jace from JaceScribbles. I received a thank-you note and a very unique bookmark (which I treasure). Elsie sent me a personalized bookmark one year (again, something that means a great deal to me), and I’ve received thank-you notes and emails from a number of readers. I treasure each one, and appreciate the time they took to send them.

  11. katiebabs says:

    Thank You :mrgreen:

  12. Michele says:

    Me too Lori :) I kind of like that my Grandma isn’t on the internet and I can write her letters.

    Melissa- We say please and thank you and yes sir and no ma’am all the time here. The kids love that we are polite to them and often it gets them to use politeness much quicker than “forcing” it.

  13. dd03 says:

    Honestly, I’m horrible about mail, and even email. But I do at least try to email a thank you.

    It’s the curteous and respectful thing to do…even if it’s not as personal as a snailmail card or even a phone call.

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