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Roxxsmom
02-18-2015, 07:16 AM
Okay, there's an agent in the next batch I'm sending out who only takes snail mail queries. We're supposed to put a SASS envelope in with the query letter and one-page synopsis requested if we want a reply, so I'm assuming it's acceptable to send it in a flat, manilla envelope, rather than cramming a #10 envelope inside another #10 envelope?

Silly question, I know, but I'm a bit rusty with snail mail :)

cornflake
02-18-2015, 07:27 AM
Okay, there's an agent in the next batch I'm sending out who only takes snail mail queries. We're supposed to put a SASS envelope in with the query letter and one-page synopsis requested if we want a reply, so I'm assuming it's acceptable to send it in a flat, manilla envelope, rather than cramming a #10 envelope inside another #10 envelope?

Sure. If you're only sending a query and synopsis, you can just fold the reply envelope and stick it in, but yeah you can put the stuff in a larger too.

If you're sending chapters and want them returned, send a reply envelope large enough for the purpose, otherwise just a regular #10.

Roxxsmom
02-18-2015, 09:09 AM
The agency says it wants a query and synopsis on the first round. This is another area of confusion, as I've seen agents suggest in interviews on blogs and so on that a person should paste or stick the first 5 pages in, even if they're not specifically requested, since the agent is under no obligation to read them but can glance at them if the query piques their interest.

But it worries me that it might also be irritating to have someone not follow their instructions to a tee. I tend to assume that people have the instructions they do for a reason. But the instructions are the generic ones for the agency's submissions, not specific to the agent (she has no specific instructions on the site at all, except that she only takes snail mail). Some of the agents have special instructions on links to the main agency page, but this one does not.

And I know an agent who says he loathes synopses (when he spoke at a workshop), so please don't send them, yet his agency's submission instructions say to include one.

Finding out what an individual agent *really* wants is not always as simple as just looking at their agency's website.

Jamesaritchie
02-18-2015, 09:33 AM
Okay, there's an agent in the next batch I'm sending out who only takes snail mail queries. We're supposed to put a SASS envelope in with the query letter and one-page synopsis requested if we want a reply, so I'm assuming it's acceptable to send it in a flat, manilla envelope, rather than cramming a #10 envelope inside another #10 envelope?

Silly question, I know, but I'm a bit rusty with snail mail :)

You don't have to "cram" a second #10 in. Fold the second number #10 in thirds, and it slips perfectly over the query letter inside, and comes out with the query letter, which means it never gets tossed accidentally.

I've been sending things out like this for thirty-five years. You can also include the first three pages of your manuscript inside, and still have enough room.

Roxxsmom
02-18-2015, 11:10 AM
I'm just curious whether they'd see a larger envelope with all the material flat or a smaller one with stuff folded up as more "professional," (or less irritating) to deal with on their end.

cornflake
02-18-2015, 12:04 PM
I'm just curious whether they'd see a larger envelope with all the material flat or a smaller one with stuff folded up as more "professional," (or less irritating) to deal with on their end.

Honestly, if you're following guidelines (including the requested materials and no more, and nothing weird to boot), your submission is in clear, correct English and sent to people who rep what you're submitting, you're already so far into professional and ahead of the curve it really doesn't matter which envelope you use.

I wouldn't stress over that sort of thing. You're fine either way.

Old Hack
02-18-2015, 12:05 PM
Fold your SAE. Easy!

If the agency specifies a query letter and synopsis only, that's what you send them. If they say they want a query letter and synopsis then you could send them pages too, to give them an idea of your writing. I'd be inclined to, but then when I read slush I always skip straight to the pages: no matter how good the query, synopsis or proposal, if the writing doesn't catch my attention I'm not going to take it.

ETA: Cornflake is dead right.

Roxxsmom
02-18-2015, 01:48 PM
Thanks :)

Debbie V
02-19-2015, 12:24 AM
One thing to consider is that those extra pages add extra weight which has to be paid for when mailed. They may request less because they don't want to make authors spend the extra money.

I always go with the flat submission because I think it makes the work easier to read. No fold marks. That's just me though.

eqb
02-19-2015, 06:44 AM
I'm just curious whether they'd see a larger envelope with all the material flat or a smaller one with stuff folded up as more "professional," (or less irritating) to deal with on their end.

You're over thinking things--which is perfectly natural! Either one is fine for a few pages.

I will only add that I had always used a letter-sized envelope for queries, but a larger one for query + pages/synopsis. It just seemed neater.

Jamesaritchie
02-19-2015, 11:42 PM
I'm just curious whether they'd see a larger envelope with all the material flat or a smaller one with stuff folded up as more "professional," (or less irritating) to deal with on their end.

The most professional size is the smallest that will comfortably hold the material. Th ething is most, almost all, send snail mail queries in #10 envelopes, which means yours will be a duck out of water, if you don't. It probably won't fit in the same stack or slot where the rest of the queries are, and this can cause problems, as well.

Flat is usually reserved for actual manuscripts or partials of one kind or another.

Jamesaritchie
02-19-2015, 11:46 PM
One thing to consider is that those extra pages add extra weight which has to be paid for when mailed. They may request less because they don't want to make authors spend the extra money.

I always go with the flat submission because I think it makes the work easier to read. No fold marks. That's just me though.

Reading is easy either way. The trouble with sending flat is that your query probably won't fit in the same stack or slot where all the other queries are because almost everyone sends queries folded. It's standard. Depending on the paper you use, you can send five pages for the price of one first class stamp on a #10. It's usually cheaper than sending flat because there's a premium on the large envelope.

Roxxsmom
02-21-2015, 11:47 AM
I just mailed it in a #10 and folded the second envelope inside the first one. I only included the query letter and one-page synopsis, because the submission instructions said to mail a query of not more than two pages which is to include a cover letter describing your project and a brief bio (I interpreted this to mean a normal query letter) and a brief synopsis.

Sample pages seemed presumptuous to me, since it said "not more than two pages."

I suppose if nothing else, I might get my first actual paper rejection out of this. :D

Thanks all.

Debbie V
02-24-2015, 09:04 AM
Bio is a short form for biography. It's a statement about you.

Sorry to have to point that out, but you'll know for next time. Also, some folks have them in their letter. If you've done that, you're fine.

Roxxsmom
03-03-2015, 09:03 AM
Right. I assumed that a normal query letter includes a short description of the novel (the thing that gets picked apart over on QLH) and a short paragraph about yourself (the bio), focusing on writing credits and relevant experience. If one had never published and has no relevant experience, it gets sticky, though. Some say skip the bio entirely, but if the agent specifically asks for one, then it seems foolish not to say something. I put a sentence in my query letter about a workshop I've attended and a writing and critting site I moderate for.

But I just submitted a query to an agent that specifically asks for a bio, and the wording makes it sound like they want it separate from the query letter itself. So I expanded that part a bit, adding where I live, my education, and my job. I figure the "cute" kind of bios that describe the author's childhood and all their hobbies and pets should probably wait until they have a book that needs something to put on the inside back flap or cover :D

WeaselFire
03-04-2015, 07:54 PM
I'm just curious whether they'd see a larger envelope with all the material flat or a smaller one with stuff folded up as more "professional," (or less irritating) to deal with on their end.

If they are still doing regular postal mail, they've seen thousands of queries in both forms. I'm with James Ritchie here, I've done the folded #10 envelope for 30 years and never had an issue.

Though I don't really do mailed queries anymore.

Jeff