Question of the week: Why do some agents insist sending queries by snail mail with a SASE? It seems so old fashioned not to mention wasteful in a few different ways. I recently sent a query letter, synopsis, 75 pages of my story, SASE etc. only to have it ultimately rejected. A trip to the post office, the cost of postage, not to mention printing out all those pages could easily have been avoided if I could simply send it all via email. So...what's up? In an age where we all are trying to conserve (gas, ink, paper, time, stamps) this practice seems archaic and old school.
Just a quick update to last week's post: I am officially in like with Facebook, much more so than MySpace. For promotional purposes, MySpace definitely wins - I'm "friends" with hundreds of people whom I really don't know, and I can blast out a note to all of them if need be. But on a more personal level, I'm really enjoying Facebook - I've found friends from high school and life whom I'm happy to be back in touch with, and what I like most about the site is how it alerts you to all of their updates - when they've added new pictures, when they've connected with someone new (and who that person is) - so I'm always kept in the loop about their pages and yes, their lives. I dunno. I think it's pretty cool. It doesn't serve a promotional purpose for me at all, but hey, so what?
Anyhoo, on to the above question. You know, I don't have the foggiest idea why agents still insist on the SASE or why, quite frankly, anyone would insist on receiving snail mail queries. Actually, that's not true: I'm sure that for some agents, it's much easier to read these queries while on the train or the bus or whatever, and why should they have to go through the trouble of sifting through their already clogged inbox and then printing any queries that grab their attention? I do, I suppose, understand the practicality of it.
But that said, yes, it seems completely archaic and outdated, and for me, at least, it was also a criteria with which I eliminated agents while in my agent hunt. I wanted someone efficient, on the cutting edge, and who used email just as often as I did (which, um, is always and for everything), so whether it seems reasonable or not, I didn't submit (with one exception) to any agents who refused email queries and required that dreaded SASE. (I do realize, of course, that just because someone requires snail mail queries doesn't mean that he or she isn't hyperly-efficient, but I think you get my idea. I'm just saying that I wanted someone who I felt would be most compatible with me and my working style...I hope that makes sense.) Before you jump up and down and say, "But everyone says that they don't accept email queries," let me interject that yes, I know that agents say this, but for the most part, they say this because they don't want to be inundated with queries, not because they won't accept them. Yes, it might annoy a few, but the vast majority of those who list "no email queries" on Agent Query or wherever will, indeed, take 'em.
Which means that you can kiss that pesky SASE goodbye.
(Btw, please do realize that everything I post on this blog is my opinion and mine alone. Well, okay, I do have some writer friends who usually agree with me, but what I mean to say is that you are welcome to disagree and discard my advice. I know that at times, I'd read Miss Snark and completely disagree with her, and hey, that's cool. It didn't take away from what she was trying to do and how she was trying to help people. I hope blog readers here understand this and feel the same.)
Anyway, so...did you guys query with SASEs? And why do you think that agents still insist on using snail mail?