Little Miss Manners

“Please don’t forget to say please! Thank you for saying thank you.”

I know this song from some kids’ show, and though I don’t remember all the lyrics, the meaning always stuck with me.

I’m not perfect. Sometimes I forget others, and sometimes I get cranky, and sometimes I want what I want no matter how hard I try to hide it.

But when it comes to working as an author, being polite is totally underrated. It can get you a long way, and after all- it’s just plain right.

Erin Blakemore*, author of The Heroine’s Bookshelf pointed it out in her really accurate list of things you’d never know about the publishing industry that everyday kindnesses seem to come as a surprise.

Why should they?

If you ever find yourself working as a writer, or something similar, here are a few times when I’d really suggest saying thank you, if only as an extra line at the end of your email. Be sure to throw in a thanks whenever someone:
-Scores you an interview or bit of press, no matter how small
-Brokers a deal on your behalf (my agent has done this, of course, but my publisher worked out the deals for foreign rights… that’s why you’ll be able to read my book in Korean!)
-Plans, hosts, or helps out with an event, whether your book is the star or not.
-Arranges travel to and from an event (or drives you- drivers are people!)
– Gives suggestions on how to improve your writing, website.. whatever.
-Does anything that makes your life easier or your book experience better.

And whenever possible, give credit to your team. It is, of course, a team effort. No one can do it by themselves- don’t convince yourself for a moment that you can/could have.

I wash dishes in a giraffe hat and a pleather jacket, and my team STILL loves me. Thats why they rock!

So I’d like to take this opportunity to give a huge shout out to the very special people who help me do what I do: my agent, Jen. My editor, Karen. My publicist, Elly. My family (of course my Dad in particular), my friends, my roommates, my cats. My copy-editors, the people who worked on my book jacket, and the people who ask me to come to do events. My blog readers, my Twitter followers, and my Facebook fans. Those of you who comment and those of you who send my links along to friends. You are part of my team, and I appreciate you.

Now, that was easy enough to say, wasn’t it?

*Speaking of Erin Blakemore…I’ll be guesting on her blog on April 21st. Stop by and check it out!

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Published in: on April 18, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lovely and completely true. There is so much people do for me and I wouldn’t be nearly who I am today without them; both as a writer and a person!

  2. My daughter, Rachael and I have read together since she was a baby, she is 13 now and has stated she wantes to read until she goes off to college. I wrote a letter to ALice and was pleasently surpised with an immediate response, with questions , so of course I wrote again. I hope that this will be an email friendship that can last. Rachael and I are currently reading the book. I also currently have laryngitis so I have to take frequent breaks but we want to get through it as fast as we can. WHat a gift ALice and her father gave to each other and in turn shared with us.

  3. Alice that Giraffe hat is awesome. Where did you find it?
    P.S. I love your book. 🙂

    • Thanks to both! I ordered it specially made on Etsy.com. I insisted that it have the little nubbies, since giraffes have nubbies.


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