Friday, June 25, 2010

No Lazy or Loud "Thank you" to an Editor

Should you write "Thank you in advance" to an editor you're querying about a poem, article, or book proposal? Elements of Style says "in advance" could seem like a way to avoid saying "Thank you" again if you get a favorable answer. Instead, you're giving one big shout-out. Not good, when a simple "Thank you" after you get a response will do.
     If an editor turns down a query or submission, most writers send a simple "Thank you" for the editor's time, consideration, and response. Writers never know when interest may come the next time from the same editor. Better to say "thank you" simply and as often as called for, rather than once to cover all possibilities.
     Never, ever send an ungrateful or bitter note to an editor, and I imagine I did not need even to mention that. 
     However, should you try to change an editor's mind once a decision is rendered to you? If the editor gave suggestions without inviting further contact, I would consider the suggestions and, if making changes accordingly, would try again, carefully and respectfully, by sending another query letter, inviting consideration for the revision and making a kind case for why it might, possibly, be more interesting now, for the editor's needs for his/her publishing company, magazine, or whatever. Include thanks, again, for the editor's original suggestions and consideration.
     Be sincere. Do not try to flatter or grovel. Just state the facts as they have changed, and in a mannerly fashion. I know that is how you would do it anyway, so I'm just reinforcing this. (smile) 
     If the work does not get anywher further with the editor, keep working with the other editors you've queried or sent materials for for the same work.  

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