Thank you. THANK you. Thank YOU.

One of the blogs I read from time to time–I subscribe to a tag(Science Fiction), and this is one that keeps coming up–is an author who uses blog posts to “Thank” the recent readers of his book. You know, thanks to the two people who bought (Title) yesterday, or I’m really grateful to whoever’s reading (Title) on Kindle Unlimited. There’s a picture of the book, and a link, and that’s more or less the entire post.

The choice to do that interests me, partly because you can sorta guess how many copies he’s selling, and if there’s any increase in sales from what he posts, and partly because I can’t remember seeing any other content from him, at all. Just a series of thank you notes that all blend together after a while.

I don’t think it’s a good way of attracting new readers to the blog (or to whatever else he has going), and honestly, I don’t think most of the people who are reading his book ever see it. I read a lot more authors in book-form than I ever track down on their own websites.

But it does make me wonder how to thank customers without turning it into a meaningless programmed response, and how to actually connect with them

The truth is, this blogger, and a lot of other thank yous I’ve heard remind me of those big-box stores that hire people to stand by the door and greet people coming and going. Thank you for shopping at____ And you roll your eyes a little, slightly annoyed at the interruption, and fully aware that what they mean is, Thank you for not shoplifting at________ After a while, it just doesn’t seem sincere.

The kids at one of the restaurants I go to thank me whenever I go to the bathroom. It happens to be located close to the exit, but in all honesty, it’s a little disconcerting. They’re lucky the ice cream’s good.

I like the idea of a link in the back of an e-book. Something that leads to something of substance, and not a thank you note. I like the idea of rewards–thank you rewards–on Patreon, and to a certain extent, for donor recognition in other arenas.

But it seems like it’s easy to over do it, and when someone thanks you a little too often, or a little too enthusiastically, it becomes awkward. Needy. Something….

So, here’s the question? How do you thank your readers, and when is it really too much? Where do you draw the line?

And have you ever had someone thank you for something and had it make you feel really uncomfortable?

2 thoughts on “Thank you. THANK you. Thank YOU.

  1. A.S. Akkalon says:

    I think you’ve hit on something here.

    Unless the person reading your book is a friend, relative, beta reader or similar, she is not (or should I say, should not be) reading your book as a favour to you. She’s reading it because she came across it somehow and decided it was worth her time (and often money) to read. In this context it strikes me as a little weird to thank readers individually. (The occasional “Thank you to all my wonderful readers” doesn’t strike me as weird, though.) I wouldn’t do that to my readers, and I’d feel uncomfortable as a reader having it done to me.

  2. Interesting question!

    I don’t have anything published in the traditional sense (yet)—I blog short stories and poetry, and fanfic larger stuff. I do thank people who comment on my blogs, or leave reviews on my fanfic, either with a comment response or a PM. Sometimes it’s just a quick “thanks for reading”, but other times it’s more because I want to engage with a reader about something they’ve mentioned and start an actual conversation about a topic. For me, it’s the social aspect of blogging and writing that I’m initially attracted to, and the forming of friendships over shared interests. So, by way of thanks, I generally check out the people who’ve checked me out. If I like what I see, I read and sometimes follow or review-back. If I’m not interested in the content, I don’t read further, but hope that the person who’s followed will still enjoy *my* content; after all, they must’ve followed for a reason.

    With paid work, I think it’s different. A brief and occasional “thanks to all who’ve read or will read” would probably not go amiss, but at the end of the day, readers are paying for a service (entertainment) and it’s the writer’s duty to make sure the reader gets their moneys’ worth out of it. The best thanks a writer can give, IMO, is to make sure their work is of the highest standard. To fulfill their reader’s expectations and to keep engaging with readers on a ‘real’ level. They’re not reading as a favour to you (unless you’ve begged them, I suppose).

    Anyway, I ramble.

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