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tko
07-22-2014, 08:19 PM
Personally, I have no interest in providing a SASE for written queries or material. Dollars in postage to get back paper at pennies a sheet? Why even bother?

But then I saw a post where it was kind of implied that someone who didn't include a SASE was kind of stupid and couldn't read the rules. Eek, another thing to worry about. Does anyone really enclose a SASE when querying anything under 50 pages?

Yes, there are still plenty of top agents who will only take snail mail queries. Some type of screening process I guess, although I can't imagine opening hundreds of letters each month.

Quickbread
07-22-2014, 08:49 PM
Yup, sounds old-fashioned, but I think if you'd like a response, you should include a SASE. Even if the agent emails you in response, it's professional to include one. I always did, and they were nearly always used. There are a few agents who specify no SASE for snail mail submissions, so you've got to check their guidelines.

Some agents who only accept snail mail queries do so because it reduces the number of queries they get. But yeah, I agree that opening all those envelopes must be time-consuming -- and paper-cutty.

Debbie V
07-28-2014, 10:23 PM
I have always sent one where specified. I even send one when it says it's up to me. In the old days, it said you were serious about your work. Now it just says you follow the rules.

If you do decide not to send one, be sure to state such in the query and assume that no reply means they aren't interested.

There are some magazines that send the contract back in that envelope if they have accepted your work. They save the postage on it that way.

eqb
07-28-2014, 10:41 PM
Remember, too, that the SASE is only for the reply, not the manuscript (or partial).

mayqueen
07-28-2014, 10:43 PM
FWIW the requests I've gotten from snail mail came via email. About half the SASE I've included in rejections are used. I bet you could get away with a line about no response needed if rejection, and then include your email.

tko
07-29-2014, 12:02 AM
The most common phrase seems to be "if you want your material returned, please enclose a SASE."

Of course I don't want the material returned, but I do want to look professional and like I'm capable of following the rules :)

I never thought of an agent using smail for an reply . . .


Remember, too, that the SASE is only for the reply, not the manuscript (or partial).

lacygnette
07-29-2014, 12:04 AM
I've sent out 50 pgs with a SASE for a reply only. Once I got a nice one back with some crits from an intern. Bless her, it was encouraging and only cost pennies.

eqb
07-30-2014, 02:40 PM
The most common phrase seems to be "if you want your material returned, please enclose a SASE."

Ah, you didn't mention that part about "material returned" before.


Of course I don't want the material returned, but I do want to look professional and like I'm capable of following the rules :)

You're overthinking this one. :)

Just mention in your query that the materials are disposable. (If by chance an agent is old-fashioned and wants to reply by snail mail, THEN you include an SASE, but one for the reply only.)

WeaselFire
07-30-2014, 07:22 PM
Does anyone really enclose a SASE when querying anything under 50 pages?
First a clarification: I haven't done a snail mail query in this century.

What I always did was send a postcard for a response with a yes/no option. Cheaper postage and I didn't want the actual materials back since I'd just be tossing them out. Never had a problem doing that from the 1970's to 1990's.

Jeff

Becca C.
07-30-2014, 09:51 PM
I think the SASE for materials thing is from ye olde times when a typed-up full manuscript wasn't something you wanted to do again on your typewriter, so you'd want it back to send to someone else. That's always the impression I got. Nowadays it's easier to print stuff out, and we have better recycling programs for all that paper.

Jamesaritchie
07-30-2014, 10:46 PM
Personally, I have no interest in providing a SASE for written queries or material. Dollars in postage to get back paper at pennies a sheet? Why even bother?

But then I saw a post where it was kind of implied that someone who didn't include a SASE was kind of stupid and couldn't read the rules. Eek, another thing to worry about. Does anyone really enclose a SASE when querying anything under 50 pages?

Yes, there are still plenty of top agents who will only take snail mail queries. Some type of screening process I guess, although I can't imagine opening hundreds of letters each month.

I always include SASE, but not for the manuscript itself. Generally speaking, when an agent or editors asks for SASE today, they mean send them a self-addressed number ten envelope so they can reply with a yes of a no.

There's usually no reason to get a manuscript back. It's cheaper now to just print out another copy. But there is reason to send a number ten envelope so the agent or editor can reply using your postage, not hers.

Jamesaritchie
07-30-2014, 10:48 PM
First a clarification: I haven't done a snail mail query in this century.

What I always did was send a postcard for a response with a yes/no option. Cheaper postage and I didn't want the actual materials back since I'd just be tossing them out. Never had a problem doing that from the 1970's to 1990's.

Jeff

A number ten envelope is standard, always has been, and works far better than a postcard.

Even today, I find I get much faster response times with snail mail queries and submissions, and, from the records I keep, a higher sales percentage. It's just so much easier to stand out in a good way with snail mail.

lacygnette
07-30-2014, 11:40 PM
Even today, I find I get much faster response times with snail mail queries and submissions, and, from the records I keep, a higher sales percentage. It's just so much easier to stand out in a good way with snail mail.

I've wondered about this. When they take both, maybe snail mail is the way to go. At least it separates your from the crowd...Thanks!

Old Hack
07-31-2014, 12:20 AM
It's your writing that separates you from the crowd. Not your SAE.

WeaselFire
07-31-2014, 05:42 PM
A number ten envelope is standard, always has been, and works far better than a postcard.

Never did for me. Fiction or non-fiction. And I asked a lot of editors about my practice at the time.


Even today, I find I get much faster response times with snail mail queries and submissions, and, from the records I keep, a higher sales percentage. It's just so much easier to stand out in a good way with snail mail.

Might be different markets, but I haven't even dealt with an agent or publisher in the last decade who wants snail mail. I used to run into a few who wanted something other than Microsoft Word but now, other than pasting the original query as text, mine all want a Word file for the submission.

Jeff

Jamesaritchie
07-31-2014, 09:42 PM
Never did for me. Fiction or non-fiction. And I asked a lot of editors about my practice at the time.



Might be different markets, but I haven't even dealt with an agent or publisher in the last decade who wants snail mail. I used to run into a few who wanted something other than Microsoft Word but now, other than pasting the original query as text, mine all want a Word file for the submission.

Jeff

A number ten is standard everywhere, regardless of who yu asked. Unless you can show me a postcard that lets me slip a letter inside, or lets me slip a subscriber's blank for the magazine inside, etc., it's a bad, bad idea. Postcards are good ONLY for acknowledgment of receipt.