Sunday, September 13, 2009

Submissions and SASEs

If I sent a submission to a publisher and they liked my work and wanted the whole manuscript, is it necessary for me to send a self addressed envelope? Wouldn't they just contact me themselves? This is sent in mind that I don't want my submission back.
If you clearly mark your cover letter (eg, CAPS and bold. Don't assume that someone's going to read the cover letter) with the fact that you have omitted a SASE because you don't want your manuscript back and do not expect a response if the answer is no, then publishers should be ok with that.
Don't most publishers have a certain time limit for response?
Not if you don't include an SASE and the answer is no.
If the answer is yes, well, it varies a great deal by publisher how long it might take them to respond. Check submission guidelines to see if they say how long to expect to wait.
Couldn't I just wait until the time limit has past and assume that they were not interested if I haven't heard from them. I am asking as I haven't figured out how to get stamps from the country that I want to send to, to put on a self addressed envelope.
Yes, you could. That's a pretty healthy attitude, too, which is why publishers will not assume you have that attitude unless you're very clear about it. Some submitters are wringing their hands from the moment they drop something in the mailbox, and if they don't hear from a publisher in the time they think they should, they'll be on the phone to them. Which we do NOT want.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that some publishers have a policy only to respond IF interested. And even if you include an SASE, they are still only going to respond to you if interested.

Anonymous said...

Editors may not want a call, but when an author waits 6 months to a year and still has not heard about a requested ms, then an author just might pick up the phone and call. Richard Curtis [agent] in his book suggests the author should call a whole lot sooner that that.

Anonymous said...

Heh. When I sold my first book, the editor emailed me a year after I'd submitted the manuscript via snailmail. By that time I had no memory of having submitted it to her.

After it was sold I sent postcards to two other editors withdrawing it from consideration. One of them had had it for three years by then.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:18, this is so good to hear. It's been about a year for me now. I've been following up and I expect to get a response. EA, I did not include an SASE, but that's because I DID include one with my query, but they answered me with their very classy envelope and stamp. They obviously copied my address off my very SASE, because it's the only place I had my apartment number. This is a classy joint! And their envelope for the request was beautiful. So I did not include the SASE with my submission, figuring they'd use one of theirs. I did include one with my follow-up letter, however, but still haven't heard. There's no way, and I refuse to believe, that I will never hear anything. Any thoughts, EA?

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I submitted to a publisher that said on their website to expect a response in 3 to 6 months. After 9 months, I assumed I'd been rejected and I revised and resubmitted a substantially different ms. I quickly got an email from the company telling me they were still debating my first submission. I felt like an idiot and explained what I'd been thinking. They then told me to ASK NEXT TIME before resubmitting, as they were still in committee.

(I ended up accepting a contract from a different company before my submission ever left their committee.)

Anonymous said...

Over a year ago I submitted a story to an editor I had met a conference, and seemed to click with her, even though I made fun of her tatoos. I never heard from her, and about four months ago I read she was laid off in a massive reorganization. So I figured my MS was toast, lost in the cobwebs of corporate purgatory. Much to my surprise, yesterday I received my SASE, several pennies below the current price of a stamp, with a form letter inside politely explaining the departure of said editor. No big surprise, but I experienced an oddly satisfying catharasis, a period to the end of the sentence that seemed just right. The moral of the story? Always send a SASE. You never know when those little buggers will come in handy!

Anonymous said...

No, do not always send a SASE if, as 10:56 AM points out, the company's guidelines say not to send one.

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