You Don't Have to Say Thank You

It's nice, but you don't have to

Hi friends,

I have a toddler. She’s great at saying thank you! I am very, very proud of this fact. There are many people in the world who are also great at saying thank you, but now, in my agent-life, I kinda wish some people weren’t so good at it.

You may have seen my snarky tweet this week about people who respond to rejections with snarky comments. Believe me, I know my tweet was as classy as those rejection responses are, too. Whenever I tweet something like that, I always get a response that’s like PEOPLE DO THAT?!?!?!?!?!?

Yes, friends, they do. I’ve been called stupid, racist, a loser, clueless, oblivious, bad at my job—you name it, an angry querier has called me it. Don’t worry, I just block those people for life and I never have to hear from them again. I can handle it.

In response to my snarky tweets, I also always get But what about a thank you? Can I respond with a thank you?

Yes, you can. If an agent rejects you, you can respond with a thank you email. It’s not against the law. It’s a kind thing to do.

But you don’t have to, and frankly, I kinda wish you wouldn’t. If even 20% of people I reject respond with a thank you, that’s 20% more email in my inbox. If I reject 500 people a month, that’s 100 more emails.

Some people send a thank you because it is the kind and polite thing to do. This is fine. Some send a thank you from a place of anxiety: What if I don’t send a thank you, then Kate will remember I didn’t say thank you and never read a query from me again!!!! This is false. I will not remember if you do or do not send a thank you. I will remember you if your work was good (even if I pass), but I do not and cannot remember A: everyone who queries me or B: everyone who does or doesn’t say thank you. I simply do not have enough space in my brain for that.

I’ll say it again: sending a thank you is not a mark against you. NOT sending a thank you is not a mark for or against you. (Sending a snarky you’ll be sorry! email IS a mark against you. Have fun in my spam folder ‘til the end of time!) But consider the recipient of your thank you. Sometimes what is polite isn’t always what’s necessary or useful.

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In Book news: It’s a banner day for #teammckean!

Happy pub day to Erin Hahn for her debut YA romance: YOU’D BE MINE. You need these swoony teen country music stars in your life, trust me. Just check out this blurb: "Witty and charming, with an off-the-charts, irresistible blend of romance, humor, and characters who steal your heart from page one. Erin Hahn is an author to watch." - Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying

And happy pub day to long-time client Allison Hoffman for her THIRD craft book AMIGURUME EATS! Amigurumi is is the Japanese art of crocheted cuteness, and these yarny friends are good enough to eat. You can also make them SMELL GOOD with the instructions in this book. Whattttt!!?????? Publisher’s Weekly gave this book a STARRED REVIEW. (You don’t know how rare that is for a craft book.) Get yours today!

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE: Congratulations to Alix Harrow! Her story "A Witch's Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies" has been nominated for a HUGO AWARD for best short story. Her novel THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY is out in September, and you should preorder it now if you like portal fantasy, portal fantasies turned on their head, books within books, antiquities, keys, and female protagonists who can’t be stopped.

The cool thing about this story, besides the fact that it is AMAZING, is that an editor friend recommended it to me. And I read it. And I fell in love with Alix’s work. And I contacted her and she sent me her novel. I signed her up SO FAST and we sold the book that’s out in September, which, btw, is unrelated to the story I first read. IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD. Now Alix is writing a second novel, she was also nominated for a Nebula, and she’s basically going to take over the world. Let this be a lesson to you. Keep writing. Keep publishing. There’s no one path to being agented or published.