Monday, April 23, 2007

Sorry Mailman! It's Not Personal.

Oops! So I was speaking at a conference this weekend, and they happened to have early copies of my book for sale!! I almost died of excitement. Anyhoo, the Barnes and Noble sales rep asks me to sign some, and I did...but he directed me to the title page, rather than the blank opening page. Turns out that I had no idea that aficionados like the signature to go there. (Why is it that everyone who has ever given me a book in the past has signed the opening page???) Anyway, the point of me telling you this is because for the ten of you who will be getting your copies in the mail today, you'll see that my signature is on the wrong page. Sorry!! I hope this doesn't lessen the value too much when you go to resell it on Ebay. :)

Question of the day: Do you think you get better results submitting queries by email or snail mail? My inclination is to save time and money by emailing, but I've heard of successful writers who swear by snail mail.

(ETA on 4/24: Btw, I took this question to mean querying magazines. Querying agents is different, and while I only queried via email, people do certainly still resort to snail when on the agent hunt.)

I know no one, repeat NO ONE, who still snail mails queries. Seriously, I've never even heard of it anymore! The only time I ever hear of writers using the actual mail is to drop requested clips in the mail to an editor.

Snail mailing queries is like microfiche: it worked at the time but now, there's just no need for it. And seriously, I could be wrong about this, but I feel like it will make you look a lot more amateurish. Especially if you read a magazine's guidelines and then send in to the generic address they request. This is just a filter with which to weed out newbie writers.

The best way to get your query read (and responded to) is to research the masthead, target the appropriate editor, and email them your pitch. There's certainly no guarantee that he or she will read it even then, but I suspect it's a lot likelier than if your query lands in their untouched - and mile-high- mail pile.

Writers out there...does anyone still query via snail mail? Or do you all stick to the electronic highway?


Anonymous said...

I do still occasionally snail-mail queries, because some mags clearly request receiving them that way. If you want your query to be read, best to call the editorial office to inquire (of whomever picks up the phone) the best means and the best recipient for your query. This is also a great opportunity to verify gender of the recipient!

Anonymous said...

Hey! I received the book today --AND SELL YOUR BOOK? No way, I'm keeping it forever so when you're REALLY rich and famous I can say you gave me a free book ;)


MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Ooh, I am running out to my mailbox now that I know the book may be in there!

Also, regarding snail vs email. I landed my agent via email; she has never even held a hard copy of my novel in her hands. I just hope one day, she will--a hard copy with a real live cover and my name on it! ha ha!

Lisa Bakewell said...

Whoo Hoo!! I received my book in the mail today! Thanks Allison! I can't wait to start reading it! I wouldn't even dream of selling it!

Regarding queries...I have my best responses when I send my queries by email. I don't bother with snail mail anymore unless absolutely necessary.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Hey Allison,

I picked up a copy of TDLF at ASJA on the weekend and can't wait to dig in.

I got an autographed copy and didn't even notice the signature was on the 'wrong' page.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I love it that you're apologizing for sending some of us lucky recipients your awesome novel (am enjoying it already, btw) because of where you signed it. You are so exceptionally nice it's actually amusing.

When I did my agent querying about a year or so ago, I did email whenever I could and snail when I couldn't. Much preferred email. (Got me an agent but no book contract, alas, so I'm on to the next novel.)

Thanks again for sending the book.

Susan Johnston Taylor said...

Allison, I've been out of town but I look forward to getting your book when I return. What a nice surprise to come home to. :)