On The Inadequacy Of A Thank You

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.

Duh.

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!

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39 Comments

  1. Marie Jocke says:

    I don’t need thanks from you. Your writing is a gift from you to me.

    • Scottie Mohler says:

      Oh, my gosh, Marie, so true. Christine, your words provide so much to us, in letting us escape, for a little while, whatever’s going on in our lives. So thank YOU… and, really, every author that puts all these little pieces of themselves out there for us to read, enjoy, judge (yeah, we do. I admit it), and embrace. So, go ahead, and enjoy that salsa. She made it to thank YOU for brightening her life with the pieces of you that you gave her. 🙂

  2. jean says:

    Thank you is never inadequate – especially when they’re as heartfelt as yours are. <3 <3 <3 you bunches.

  3. Heather Howe says:

    I feel the same way as Marie. Really, I feel like I should thank you. Reading is my little escape from my crazy non-stop life. Much like you – a 60 hour work week, two kids still in elementary school, sports, Cub Scouts, dinner, laundry, homework… the list is endless. We’re working moms and we all get it. I look forward to your new books and I will take them as they come. I’ve read every one – some more than once. I thank you for writing them every time I read one… even if I didn’t write you a letter to tell you. The authors who wrote your blurbs? They get it too. Your simple thank you is enough. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  4. Diane says:

    Christine…I cried a little for you when I read this, because any woman who is or has been where you are…trying to figure out how to hold it all together, be a good Mom, raise good kids and be true to yourself…understands. I’m older now and semi-retired, but I’ve been where you are now and I get it. I don’t know you personally, but just like all of your books that I honestly love, love, love so much, the genuine honesty poured out in this post is tangible. Just the fact that you can admit to yourself and others that you sometimes fall short, sincerely ask for forgiveness and promise to do better, I’m not certain how anyone could ask for more of you. Be kind to yourself, keep doing what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is strength in numbers…I’m proud to say I’m your fan!

  5. Cacy parker says:

    A thank you is so rare in today’s society the fact that you have taken time out of your busy schedule to write one is more then adequate and is very much appreciated. The fact is that I should be thanking you for the opportunity to escape into the worlds that you have created time and time again!! So, Christine THANK YOU for helping me to keep my sanity and allowing me to read these wonderful characters that you have created.

  6. Jo Rushton says:

    We pimp your books because we LOVE them and we are passionate about sharing your amazing work. No thanks is needed, just keep writing your fantastic books. Now switch off your internet and enjoy some quality time with your family ❤️❤️❤️.

  7. I understand feeling like you aren’t doing enough to express your gratitude, but some people don’t even say thank you. Saying those 2 little words has such an impact on people. I say it all the time and feel like I am just not doing enough too, but then I remember when I worked at a company for 2 years and was never once thanked by my co-workers, managers, even the people who ran the company. I hated working there. Yet, I was paid well and they even gave monthly ‘big’ bonuses to everyone who worked there if they made or went above the company sales goal for the month. Sure the money was nice, but I remember thinking, “If they saved their money and just said thank you I would like that so much more.” If they had never given me bonuses but said thank you whenever I did a good job, I might still be working there.
    If you want to do more and have the time to do more, do it. If a thank you is all you can do, remember that is just as important.

  8. Leah says:

    I’m a nurse. I feel that, along with a team of other experts, I help to save people’s lives. It is rare, in my profession, that you ever hear “thank you for helping to save my life”. Sure I hear “thank you” from my patients but it’s for the mundane things I do during my shift like getting a glass of water or helping with a potty issues. It’s no big deal, I do what I do because I love helping people. I don’t really expect to hear a thank you for the work I do, it’s just the nature of my work.
    All that being said…I want to say, thank you, to you. Thank you for writing books so well that you transport me to a new, better world. Thank you for creating characters so real they make feel and fall in love, I wish Jonathan and Monica were the couple next door (really I want Jonathan as my boyfriend but they are so great together I wouldn’t want them to break up, plus I’m married to a great guy ;-P). Thank you for every word you’ve put on a page because I read for stress relief and your beautiful words help.
    You are my favorite author. I read hundreds of books a year and I compare most authors writing styles to yours and very few compare.
    I never expected to hear a thank you from you for participating in the fan blast. I did it because I think more people should read your books. Because I think you are pretty fucking fabulous and I wish you and your family were the other people next door. Because I don’t ever want you to stop doing what you do because you help people like me feel better in this crazy fucked up world. So I want to thank you to you for what you do because I’m sure that you don’t hear it often enough for what you do either.
    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

  9. Kristi B says:

    You’re the best! Your words mean so much more than you know. Just the fact that your reach out to fans on social media means so much. Hugs and flowers!!

  10. Angel Follansbee says:

    I love this !!!

  11. Grace Hart says:

    This looks amazing
    Can’t wait to start reading

  12. marika says:

    Love this. You’re an awesome person Christine and we readers are very lucky to be a part of your journey

  13. Danielle Salinger says:

    You’re amazing doing exactly what you do. I struggle with so many of the things you mentioned, it’s great to hear someone else say it!

  14. Yunnuen Glez says:

    On the contrary, thanks for writing these amazing stories. 😉

  15. Jay says:

    Sometimes a thanks it’s all that is needed, small gestures!

  16. Jenny B says:

    Simple thank you’s are more than enough and all that is needed sometimes! Your books are amazing and thank you for always being there for your readers/fans!

  17. Lori J Pouncey says:

    We should be thanking you lovely lady for all the amazing books you’ve given us ♡
    You’re an amazing writer and love all your work 🙂 So THANK YOU for everything you give your fans xoxo

  18. Ashley Westphall-Carr says:

    Love this

  19. Luchy Rivera says:

    Love!!

  20. Monica Murphy says:

    What you create for us is something beautiful. It is definitely something that I can’t do. But you are human just like the rest of us. You can’t remember everything, and mist people understand. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just try to do better.

  21. You give us your blood, sweat and tears . We appreciate that you work you ass off to send out quality books. Your words are all I need. Dont get me wrong, a paperback is awesome, but That’s more than a Thank you. I want to Thank YOU for giving us your heart and soul in every book you write. I enjoy reading every single one of them. Have a great day!

  22. Diana Doan says:

    Love this! I can’t wait!

  23. jane kramer says:

    thanks for these awesome stories , i love them 🙂

  24. KellyMae Helfrich says:

    Authors amaze me… I’m the one that feels inadequate. Most of you have families, full time jobs and you still find time to write awesome stories for our enjoyment. Please, don’t apologize or feel inadequate, you all are amazing people. I say “Thank you!!”

  25. Nicole Ortiz says:

    Love this!!

  26. Shannon Blackwell-Williams says:

    Love!! I love getting stuff from authors, I cherish it!

  27. Yanet octavo says:

    You do so much more! You give us your words(Jonathan and spin) and your stories. You let us in your head and not everyone does that so Thank You

  28. Love this but I just want to say Thank you

  29. Jennifer Lynn says:

    Can’t wait to read!

  30. Bube says:

    Thank you for all fantastic books 🙂

  31. Sarah Blackburn says:

    Thank you for all your work! It’s amazing!

  32. Laura says:

    This is really beautiful.

  33. Shannon Davison says:

    I believe it’s the little things that count. We’re all busy and the day just flies by. We’re not rich in money, we’re rich in kindness. I go out of my way to smile at others, sometimes that’s all they need to have a better day.

  34. Amanda Worden says:

    Thank you for writing amazing books!

  35. Louise McKie says:

    Thankyou is never inadequate . Manners are free but mean the most to people over anything materialistic.
    These are the values I have raised my children on.
    X

  36. Sharon Broom says:

    Thank you is never inadequate. I understand sometimes it doesn’t say everything you want it to say, but it shows that you appreciate what someone has done for you. I am sure most are understanding that an authors mind is elsewhere the majority of the time, and taking time out to write thank you’s or organise sending gifts is taking time away from writing, which is the real gift to your readers!

  37. Pamela Tyson says:

    I just finished all of the books in the the Original Sinners Series, and then read The Last Good Knight Series. I have to say….for those that have not read that series, you must read it. I cried and cried when I read it. It was so precious and loving……but yet as hot as all of the other books in the series’. So “thanks” for the good reads.

    • CD Reiss says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them. The Original Sinners Series is one of my favorites.
      However, I did not write them or the Knight Series 🙂

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