FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

(Click on any FAQ to expand for an answer)

Q1: How does your book encourage people to write letters, when nearly everything today is email and texts?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: Texts are just conversation – fleeting and temporary. Emails can be lost in a computer crash, accidentally deleted, or misplaced over time. In contrast, a handwritten or hand-signed letter of appreciation, on written or printed on quality stationery and delivered or mailed in a caring, thoughtful manner, is seen as special even before it’s read. Such a letter, describing how much you value the other person and why, will be saved and savored anew, every time it’s read. And unlike an email or a text, it is likely to become part of family legacy, treasured by future generations who want to know more about the positive qualities that others valued in their ancestor. Thus, it truly is a gift that keeps on giving.

Q2: Are these publications just for writing letters, or could I use them for emails and texts as well?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: They’re inappropriate for texts, as the idea is to write at least a one-page letter – not just a sentence or two. Still, the information in the main reference book is helpful when you’re unsure what to write in a thank-you note, in which several sentences are appropriate.

As to emails, you could use the book How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure or one of the guides to compose and send an email, if there is no other practical way to convey the information in a timely manner; but remember the cautionary note in Answer 1; email tends to be impermanent. Yet suppose you’re writing to a faraway loved one, perhaps someone serving in the military or on a faith-based mission; email may the only practical way to convey your message. You could add a postscript at the bottom of the email, indicating that “A loving [handwritten or printed and hand-signed] version of this message will await your return.”

Q3: Can I use the information for a subject that isn’t covered in the book?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: Every reasonable attempt was made to make this book comprehensive. Indeed, it addresses over 150 types of letters of appreciation. However, if you want to write a letter of appreciation for a circumstance not mentioned in the book, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and tell me about your situation; it will be my pleasure to offer a few helpful tips.

Q4: Who would your book make a good gift for? How do I know if they would even write letters?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: People of all ages who enjoy writing will appreciate this new tool for conveying their gratitude in a heartfelt way. In addition, Baby Boomers and other older individuals who remember what a joy it was to receive personal correspondence, would value this book. Are you considering giving the book to someone younger? Perhaps accompany it with a heartfelt letter of your own, saying you’re glad they’re in your life and why; this will demonstrate how meaningful such a letter can be, and should inspire them to “pay it forward” by writing letters of their own.

Q5: How many of a publication do I have to buy for it to be considered a bulk purchase? And what is the discount?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: Bulk purchases typically refer to quantities of at least a hundred of any given title. This is the threshold after which significant cost savings can be passed along to the buyer. Bulk purchases are typically made by companies and organizations who want to use these items as promotional or advertising specialties (“giveaways”) or purchasing incentives.  Bulk buyers often want to have a custom cover with a company logo or a custom front-page inside, such as a letter from the president, director, or CEO – or even from a sales representative or agent as holiday or commemorative gifts to customers or clients.

On the other hand, if my comprehensive reference book or one of my themed guides or booklets interests you and you’d like to place a group order of five or more of the same title, email me <LINK> directly for a discounted rate for shipment to the same address; the larger the quantity, the greater the discount is likely to be.

Q6: Do you offer a service to write my letter for me, if I’m too busy or consider myself a poor writer?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: It’s important to remember that this letter of appreciation comes from your heart – not from someone else’s point of view. So even if you are very busy, please make time for this important gesture – to show another how much he or she means to you and why. I promise your effort will pay dividends in your relationship.

If you believe yourself to be a poor writer, it seems inconceivable that someone you value enough to write to, would consider your message unworthy due to poor quality writing. That being said, however, you can always send your best effort at a final draft to me or another professional copyeditor for fine-tuning without sacrificing your unique writing style. Copyediting a one- or two-page letter would probably require about half an hour, which would fall within most people’s budget.

Q7: How can these publications help me get along better with my employers/superiors? Coworkers? Other employees?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: People you work with like to be acknowledged for their positive efforts, traits, or work ethic. There is great value in expressing your appreciation verbally, and especially in writing, for the Human Resources file as well as for the individual’s own personnel file at home. The themed guide, How to Write a Heartfelt Letter of Appreciation to a Supervisor or Employee, provides excellent advice on composing and presenting these written acknowledgments. Sincerely acknowledging others in writing is a memorable gesture that is sure to improve workplace relationships.

Q8: Which publication would be best for me to write a letter to get a job? Write a resume? Ask for a raise or promotion? Ask to resign or quit?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: The themed guide, How to Write a Heartfelt Letter of Appreciation to a Supervisor or Employee, assumes that you are already employed in the workplace, and it adopts only the point of view of the individual writing the letter to someone else in the company who is deserving of thanks. Other books have been written that address, in depth, the matters you describe; an online or in-bookstore search for appropriate books on your topics should yield books better suited to those purposes.

Q9: Can any of these publications help me write a complaint letter that isn’t as angry as I am? (to my boss, to an employee, to a vendor, to a service provider)

pen-swerls-ltdnA: The focus of these guides and book is to write heartfelt letters of appreciation. However, in the themed guide, How to Write a Heartfelt Letter of Appreciation to a Product Creator or Service Provider, the section titled “Effective Problem Resolution” will help you resolve situations with vendors or service providers, and the advice may be adaptable to uncomfortable situations at work, too.

Q10: How do you plan to accomplish your Big, Achievable Goal?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: A wide variety of avenues are available to me. Radio and TV interviews, guest blogs, and magazine articles come immediately to mind, and reaching these markets is an ongoing activity as time permits. Recently I began distributing free bookmarks that offer tips on what goes into a heartfelt letter of appreciation. When I told my contacts the bookmarks were available and asked them how many (6 to 48) they’d like to share, within the next month and a half I’d sent out over 400 bookmarks. Here’s how people were sharing them:

  • Informally, with their friends
  • Formally, to their fellow members of Rotary, a Career & Professional Women group, a grief recovery group, and a church women’s group
  • To participants of a presenter’s life-story-writing workshop
  • By my chiropractor to his patients (and he’s even reordered more)
  • As bag inserts at a local charity’s thrift store
  • As inserts in swag bags for a fashion-show fundraising event
  • By a teacher to her seventh-grade students as a helpful guide to letter-writing
  • To visitors at a Humane Society branch

I personally leave 3-4 on each of the many magazine tables along the hallway waiting areas and in the lab waiting area at my local medical group building, and my local physical therapist likes to leave a stack of them on the front desk for patients and others.

Q11: How can I help you accomplish your Big, Achievable Goal?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: Thank you so much for asking; here are several ideas to choose from.

Bookmark distribution. You may distribute some of those bookmarks I talked about in Answer 10; just This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. how many you’d like and where I should send them. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you’d like to see what they look like before you request them.) Up to 48 at a time are available at no charge.

Bookmark sponsorship. If, on the other hand, you have the means to distribute unusually large quantities, we should talk about who you might invite to sponsor the cost of printing (it’s more affordable than you might think, when ordering at least 1,000); the sponsor could even replace the Robert Emmons quote at the top of the front panel with a “Compliments of” promotional message, for only a nominal set-up charge. Ideal sponsors would be companies that want to show their clients and customers how much they value RELATIONSHIPS. Banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and fitness centers come immediately to mind; cosmetics manufacturers could also be approached.

Writing letters of your own. You can also write and present heartfelt letters, yourself – I promise you’ll find your new habit rewarding to both you and the people who receive your letters; and your recipients will surely be inspired to write letters of their own; just think how many lives you’ll be changing for the better when you begin this trend!

Introduction to media contacts. Finally, if you have media contacts (print/radio/TV), I’d be grateful for an introduction that could result in a broadcast interview or a written article or guest blog for relevant audiences – perhaps tied into an upcoming commemorative holiday, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, Boss’s Day, Administrative Professionals Day, Veterans Day, and so on. Media reps are also invited to explore the extensive Media section at Good Ways to Write and then contact me if I can be of service.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Q12: Do you have any future publications or other information products coming on the market?

pen-swerls-ltdnA: I’m assembling a kit that includes fun and creative ways to use fifteen demographic lists of 100 positive words each, describing someone special. Available exclusively through this website, the kit will consist of a downloadable folder containing project ideas and directions, templates for specific projects, and the 15 word lists themselves.

I’m also creating a lesson plan suitable as an English project for grades four through eight; it will teach how to write a heartfelt letter of appreciation as part of the English class curriculum. Assuming this lesson plan is well received by educators and students, I’ll then create a similar lesson plan suitable for high school grades nine through twelve and even for a college-level English Composition class.

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