...on JA Konrath's site, I found:
5. Don‚t include a SASE. Everyone in NY requests that you send a self addressed stamped envelope for a reply. In fairness to the publishing biz, they get a ton of unsolicited manuscripts every day, and couldn‚t afford to send rejection letters to everyone out of their own pocket. Keep in mind that SASEs are for rejections. In fact, it makes it even easier for them to reject you. If they want your work, they‚ll gladly spring for the stamp, or call on the phone. Do you think Tom Clancy sends SASEs?
(In SIX THING TO AVOID IN A QUERY on the "TIPS 2" page http://www.joekonrath.com/ )
I agree that Tom Clancy doesn't send SASEs. He also doesn't send query letters anymore.
There's always someone who just can't seem to do what is asked. Send an SASE, include the word count, spell things correctly...all those little things that seem so easy.
Truth is, when I look at my slush pile, well heck, I'm looking at it right now: 27 letters. It's 10:18pm. I'd like to move that query stack OFF my desk ASAP. Not including an SASE makes it easy, yay. Toss. I don't even read em anymore. I used to. Not anymore.
I used to spring for an envelope and postage too, thinking people just forgot. Then some nitwit posted a comment here saying he just didn't send them, figuring if we wanted his work, we'd get back to him. So, yanno what, f you buddy, I stopped giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.
My website is real clear. This is what I ask for. If you think SASEs are for rejections, you're right 98% of the time. And for you 100% of the time, cause now I just throw it away.
And yes, there will be some nitwit who says "I don't send SASE's and I have an agent, and I got this that and the other". One example is an exception. Advising everyone to do it is stupid.
And would someone please tell me what the HELL is so hard about putting an SASE in a query? It costs too much? This is a damn business; this is YOUR side of the expense sheet. Mine comes when I xerox your stuff a zillion times, and pray I sell it and get paid. Try not to moan about the cost of an SASE to me, when sending ONE manuscript costs me $10.00 a pop.
Advice is cheap. Try not to shortchange yourself by being penny wise and pound foolish.