PDA

View Full Version : A curious development.



Nitemare
05-18-2009, 08:16 AM
We send out query letters with everything that the agents require and request, including our email address and the Self Addressed Stamped Envelope for a reply. Recently, I received 2 email replies to my queries and the SASE that I sent was never used.

Wayne K
05-18-2009, 08:47 AM
Is this a newsflash or some kind of question?

colealpaugh
05-18-2009, 09:01 AM
Write them a nice letter asking for your stamp back.


Wait...

Gillhoughly
05-18-2009, 10:02 AM
A SASE is considered a professional courtesy, whether it's used or not.

Even with the rising price of postage, chances are good you can recover the price of those stamps in the couch and under your car seats.

Let it go.

colealpaugh
05-18-2009, 10:23 AM
A SASE is considered a professional courtesy, whether it's used or not.


Gill, stepping up to the plate with the consumate, non wise-assical advice.

Phaeal
05-18-2009, 06:27 PM
I think the agents are getting rich reusing our SASEs!!! Yeah, they just paste labels over our addresses, and that way they NEVER have to buy postage!!!

The CIA's in on it, too, and by now they have all the dope on the radical OP who dared question this practice, muhahahahaha.

Where's my meds?

stormie
05-18-2009, 06:46 PM
This has been happening for years, so it's not quite new. Remember, too, that SASEs can get lost in that pile of mss. Or maybe those stamps on your SASEs aren't the new ones that in the US now cost 44 cents.

Ken
05-18-2009, 07:02 PM
... take them to small claims court ;-)

brainstorm77
05-18-2009, 07:26 PM
Personally I think it would be great to cut down on the papertrail and do most things online if possible. Just a thought :)

brainstorm77
05-18-2009, 07:27 PM
... take them to small claims court ;-)

Don't be giving people idearrrs there Ken ;)

Nitemare
05-18-2009, 08:11 PM
Despite the posted sarcasm, the fact remains that we are trying to follow and obey all the strict rules required by agents. It is annoying that we try our best to make a professional impression and the response is unprofessional.

Claudia Gray
05-18-2009, 08:16 PM
I don't think it's necessarily "unprofessional" not to use the inclosed SASE. OTOH, it is rather wasteful.

stormie
05-18-2009, 08:53 PM
I can just see all those editors taking time out of their busy days, trying to steam off the stamps to reuse. Or hiring someone to do it for them.

Poor lost and abandoned SASEs.

Guaranteed that within ten years new writers will be wondering what the heck SASEs were.

happywritermom
05-18-2009, 09:05 PM
I see Nitemare's point. It has nothing to do with cost of the stamp. Some agents (Note I say "some.") can really be conscending and arrogent about their "rules"--specific fonts, specific margins, snail mail only). So when they specifically request a SASE and then don't bother to use it, its the kind of jab that goes right under your fingernails. Personally, I no longer do snail-mail submissions unless an agent has requested a partial or a full. They are a waste of money and paper.

Namatu
05-18-2009, 09:16 PM
I see Nitemare's point. It has nothing to do with cost of the stamp. Some agents (Note I say "some.") can really be conscending and arrogent about their "rules"--specific fonts, specific margins, snail mail only). So when they specifically request a SASE and then don't bother to use it, its the kind of jab that goes right under your fingernails. Personally, I no longer do snail-mail submissions unless an agent has requested a partial or a full. They are a waste of money and paper.I agree that it's wasteful, and if you send a SASE per agent's request, you expect that SASE to be used. I disagree with some agents' requirements being condescending or arrogant. They're telling you how they want to see your material, which is: properly formatted and in a font type and size used by the industry. If they didn't specify, you can bet a lot (more) of the submissions they receive would be in a 10-point font size, single spaced, with half-inch margins, double-sided, etc. :) Even with detailed instructions provided, a lot of people don't follow them.

Clair Dickson
05-18-2009, 09:29 PM
No one is forcing any writer to work with any agent they see as arrogant, condescending, wasteful, or whatever else. If you (generic you) don't like how an agent works, then don't work with them.

Any response is better, IMHO, than none. I wouldn't care if the texted me (and I hate texting!) about it. I would just want to know.

Whining about rules is unprofessional, in my opinion. No one is making you participate in the process of publishing. In fact, if you drop out, it's less competition for me.

Not only that, the rules are there partly because it helps weed out those who are unprofessional. For example, people who can't be bothered to read the submission requirements. Auto-Reject. Helps keep down the slush pile, ya know. No agent wants to work with someone who can't follow directions.

Phaeal
05-18-2009, 09:39 PM
Maybe the agent thinks he's doing you a favor through the quicker response via email. Maybe she's switched to all email responses but has not yet changed any published submission requirements. Maybe all the agents really ARE funnelling the unsent SASEs to the CIA, in which case we writers are being patriots by donating so much postage to the government. Who knows?

All I can say is:

A. Yup, I'm glad to get a response any old how. Hey, send a carrier pigeon if you want.

B. Whether the agent used or didn't use my SASE isn't going to determine how I view that agent. Especially if the email says Yes. ;)

happywritermom
05-18-2009, 10:08 PM
Geez! Even when I emphasize the "some" I get blasted!
I'm not saying that ALL agents who have specific requirements are arrogant or condecending (I didn't even say "many"), and I recognize that there are some writers who would send their stuff on toilet paper if they weren't told what to do, but ... If you've perused enough agent Web sites, you know the ones I'm talking about.

And of those, I submitted only to one way back when I was new to this stuff and didn't know any better. This agency had a "manifesto" on its Web site and warned writers practically every other paragraph that failure to comply with even the slightest requirement would result in an unread query. Silly me thought all agents treated writers this way, so I queried an agent there.

After all that, I was furious when I got this response:

"thank you for your submission, but we are not interested.
peace"

No caps, no "Dear author," no nothing.

Now, that response would not have bothered me in the slightest from any other agent, but from this guy-- Grrrrr.

Ken
05-18-2009, 11:19 PM
Despite the posted sarcasm, the fact remains that we are trying to follow and obey all the strict rules required by agents. It is annoying that we try our best to make a professional impression and the response is unprofessional.

... sorry for the sarcasm, Nitemare. You do have a point with the unused SASEs. I think it is more or less of an innocent and at times necessary action on the part of agents and editors, though, who are bogged down with countless queries and submissions. For the most part, they do their best by us.

stormie
05-18-2009, 11:21 PM
Yep, and those SASEs can easily get lost.

Clair Dickson
05-18-2009, 11:47 PM
Geez! Even when I emphasize the "some" I get blasted!


Hm. I thought I wrote "you (generic you)". Oh, wait, I did.

How is that blasting you, happywritermom? I was making a general statement regarding the type of responses from agents and reminding all writers that they don't have to work with an agent.

If you can please point out where I singled you out in my previous post, I will happily edited it because that was not my intention.

In general, I suggest that all writers (not just happywritermom) who are submitting queries remember that they do not have to follow guidelines. They do not have to work with agents whose practices they disagree with. They do not have to submit their writing at all.

And all writers should remember that not everyone will agree with them on perceived slights.

Soccer Mom
05-18-2009, 11:54 PM
Not really a productive discussion here. Locking in 3...2...1...