Dear Miss Snark,
Does good news ever come in the SASE?
I've heard these are reserved exclusively for rejections, and any requests for paritals or fulls comes via phone call or email.
(I know you indicated otherwise in your post dated 18 March 2006, but I would love for you to, as you so adeptly and lyrically do, spell it out.)
Thank you for daily doses of entertaining enlightenment.
A Faithful Follower
Well, it depends on what you call good news. If you mean do I ever send an offer for representation in an SASE...no. I do mostly request partials by email. I do hang on to the SASE though and use it for the reply to the partial...mostly.
However. If this tempts you to not include an SASE, we've had that discussion but here's a brief recap on why it's a bad bad bad idea.
1. I won't read your stuff. For every nitwit who tells you they got a deal by querying without an SASE I can tell you ten people last week who didn't get read cuase they didn't send one. You might get a deal without one..from someone else. I assure you I won't read your stuff unless you send one. You choose.
2. People send just a cover letter querying a novel. I send them a note in their SASE saying send pages. If they don't include an SASE I don't request pages by email.
3. I do put notes on query letters like "I don't do SFF, try Felix Feelgood" or noting places they've done something beyond stupid like misspell the name of their book. I figure maybe if I mention it, they won't do it on the next round. Don't send an SASE and you've got zero chance for feedback. You may never GET feedback, but you've made it possible for it to happen rather than eliminating the chance completely.
This SASE question has gone beyond ludicrous. You're trying to distinguish yourself from 100 people a week. I tell you how best to do that for my agency. Why would you think those guidelines don't apply? I absolutely fail to understand that. And don't give me crap about "it's empowering" to make an agent contact you if they want you. My idea of being empowered is making a big sale, not shooting yourself in the foot on step one.
This isn't rocket sceince. Follow the instructions or not, as you see fit. If you want to waste your time and your stamp, be my guest. It makes absolutely no difference to me, cause there are lots of other people writing good stuff who manage to include an SASE just fine.