On The Inadequacy Of A Thank You
I write books for a living.
You know that. That’s why you’re here. But I keep having to say that to myself.
I write books for a living.
God, I don’t know where to start this post, so I started with the most mind-blowing thing and drilled down.
Yesterday, I got a paperback of First Touch from Laurelin Paige with a lovely thank you note for the blurb I wrote her. (I meant every word of it – READ THAT BOOK)
Seven authors wrote me blurbs for Shuttergirl.
I didn’t send any of them a paperback. Not one.
I said “thank you” and each of these blurbs created a swell of gratitude. They were instrumental in a marketing campaign that kept the book on USA Today for two weeks. Even when I said “thank you” to the authors, I felt the inadequacy of the eight letters typed into a little white box. I tried to get across the depth of my gratitude by using all caps and saying “so much” at the end.
But it was shit. It wasn’t enough and I had no idea how to transmit what those blurbs meant to me.
I could have sent a fucking book, but it didn’t even occur to me.
Then yesterday I heard from a wonderful fan. She’s in Los Angeles and comes to every single signing in the area. She works for the USPS and brings me postal supplies! I love that! She wraps them carefully and brings things for my children. Last signing, she brought me home made salsa.
You heard me right. Home made fucking salsa and it was DELICIOUS. Yesterday, she asked if I wanted more for the LALA signing tonight.
You know what I’m bringing her? Nothing. I have to finish this blog post. Write 2000 words, get my hair done, pack the car and get my ass to the signing.
I love her, and I’m empty handed (I’ll give her a book, but that even seems kind of cheap. She’s giving me FOOD).
I know I write books and market them for a living. I get up in the morning, take the kids to school, work and start dinner at 5:30. I’m mostly unavailable until 9pm when my son goes to bed. And now that he’s older, it’s turning into 10pm. I’m wiped out. I work from 9am-5pm, plus a few hours on weekends and it’s not enough.
So I don’t think of things.
Send a fucking book to the people who do things for you.
Bring gifts for your fans.
Write long notes and send them.
I stay up at night because my expressions of gratitude are so fucking inadequate. A giveaway for a fan blast? A GIVEAWAY? Fans have CHANGED THEIR PROFILE PICTURE and I’m giving them a CHANCE at a gift card? Bullshit. All two hundred of them deserve a gift card and I can’t afford that.
Authors read my books and post about them and I read—at most—four books a year.
I’m constantly learning from all of you, authors and readers alike.
Send a book.
Write a note.
Bring a gift.
I am going to fail over and over. The outward expression of my gratitude will never, ever match the gratitude in my heart.
I owe so much to the karmic system. I want to THANK YOU SO SO MUCH (<– see what I did there?) for your patience with me, your kindness, and for letting me learn from you.
I’m all over that salsa tonight, K!