Nathan Bransford, Author

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

SASE Heads Up

The Postal Service is raising the price of a first-class stamp one cent starting May 12th, so for those of you who say there's a SASE included in your e-mailed query (and there are a lot of you) -- don't forget to add an extra cent to your e-mails.

Thankfully there aren't any exploding power lines outside of my building today, but I'm still slammed. Back with a You Tell Me tomorrow.


Furious D said...


Finally got to see your post at MySpace. Looks like their whole blog system is fried, again. I'm not sure why they call it an unexpected error.

What's unexpected is when it works correctly.

Anyhoo... back on topic I'll be sure to tape an extra penny to my query e-mail.

Redzilla said...

Time to go stock up on "forever" stamps while they're still 41 cents.

Jenny said...

I would hope that agents who have been sitting for months on queries that included SASEs would have the decency, when they finally do get around to replying to those queries, to add their own penny stamp.

I'm rather disgusted by the number of agents whose published submission guidelines request queries with SASEs who do not respond in any way to the query even after three months.

The rudeness of not replying to email is bad enough--many agents who have "email only" policies now make no reply at all to queries.

But an agent who insists that people spring for expensive paper submissions and then don't bother to send back the SASEs really is asking for some very ugly karma.

I know you don't fall into this category, Nathan, but sadly, my experience during this last submission cycle is that dozens of agents do.

Colorado Writer said...


C.J. said...

Jenny - I hear you. I take my time and put together real classy submissions for the snail mail agents out there - I'd love to be able to watch the packet go through the office. It would be interesting to see who reads it, where it sits for all that time, and what it looks like compared to the others.

Nathan - I forgot to include a SASE in my e-mail query; thanks for getting back to me anyway : )

C.J. said...

Oh, I can't remember if I mentioned this before but there's a pop-up Moby Dick book out there that'll knock your socks off. Finally, we can read the story the way Melville intended!

Adaora A. said...


You're still getting told that the SASE is included in the query? Wow.

I saw this on CNN I think it was. What a joke. The price is creeping up on people. Don't they know writers are poor anyways? Thank goodness for e-queries and e-jects.

Aww Jenny steady on. Your day will come.

Other Lisa said...

Not responding is something I don't get. I know I would think long and hard about submitting to someone with that kind of business practice.

Stephen Prosapio said...

When Nathan gets back, he's gonna yell at you guys!

I remember his response to this last summer...

I can see the agent's side to not responding (Nathan explained it well last time) and I don't find it "rude" per say but I wouldn't query someone on a different project if they never responded on the first one.

My experience in sales has taught me that a person who only responds when they feel there is something "to get" out of it, is the exact same person who will be incommunicato when things don't work out splendedly later on. And that's not a 99% thing. It's 100% of the my experience.

Nathan Bransford said...

Yeah, Stephen is correct about my response. I wish there were a more standardized agent submission process across the industry, but it's so important to remember that prospective agents just don't owe you anything. Here's the post Stephen was referencing:

Ulysses said...

I had my e-query returned.
Insufficient voltage.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Unresponsive Agent Role-Playing Assignment:

1) Carefully read through the 675 entries to the Surprisingly Essential First Page Contest.

2) Write a 1-sentence response to each: If you really liked the entry, make it 2 sentences. If you really hated the entry, you are allowed to be curt, and need only respond with 2 words.

3) Note at which entry you threw in the towel and gave up. Marvel at new attitude toward agent unresponsiveness.

**Note: This is not a Bransford-Blog-Approved Assignment. Use at Own Risk. Results Not Guaranteed.

Nicole Del Sesto said...

Seriously cannot believe postage is going up again. I realize you didn't post this so I could bitch about postal prices, but JMJ (Jesus Mary and Joseph in case that's not immediately clear) you have to be a geometry expert to figure out postage anymore, plus they just raised it. But now I'm done. And if you are wondering why you had to be the one to break it to me, I'll also tell you that I found out my zip code changed from Netflix.

Kimber An said...

Dang. Do you have any idea how hard it is to cram those envelopes into the disk drive?

Kristin said...

You've *got* to be kidding me! I just bought a 100 roll of stamps. They *just* raised stamp prices this time last year!!!???

Other Lisa said...

Not even a form letter in an SASE (with sufficient postage)?


pjd said...

While I agree that it's a PITA to have to deal with that penny upgrade, I still find it absolutely astonishing that I can write something down and for a quarter of the price of a cup of drip coffee at Starbucks, drop it in a box and have it appear in the right box 3,000 miles away just two or three days later.

We rarely think about the army of people, the hundreds of buildings, the scads of trucks and vans and airplanes, and the astounding amount of fuel it takes to make that happen. Sure it's an economy of scale, but it still blows my mind that it happens at all. And fairly reliably at that.

And yes, I grumble at the price of postage just like any writer. Really, who wants to pay extra for the privilege of being told "no"? Though my acceptances were well worth the price of postage, every one.

booklady said...

Figures. I just bought a whole ton of stamps, assuming that since they just raised the price then these would be applicable for a nice long time. Oh, well. Thanks for the heads-up.

Mary Paddock said...

Well at least rejection is less expensive than my other professional hobbies (four boys, six dogs, seven cats, and a husband).

I'm new at this querying thing (three months into it), but I figure if they tell you up front that they don't respond unless they're interested, all's fair, etc, and they were professional enough to warn me. If they don't state it, and don't respond, I write them off as not as polite as Nathan.

Aimless Writer said...

Save a tree, send an Equery!

Tom Burchfield said...

"Insufficient voltage . . . " Very good, Hercules, very good.

Just_Me said...

No response to e-queries:

Those are the last agents I'll query out of desperation. It's not that they're bad agents, but I'm obsessive, I need to know that everything went through, was received, and that someone (or their dog even) looked at the query.

I'd rather spend some money on stamps then wonder about whether or not the person on the other end actually saw what I offered.

Although agents who respons to e-queries are at the top of the list. I don't care if it's one word in the reply line "no" It's a response.

theartgirl said...

Yet, in Still Life with Flowers (one of the runners up in the last contest) the author uses two similes in the first paragraph.

The afternoon sun sliced the room like scissors through cellophane and exploded against the laminated flipchart in a blast of white light. Elaine shielded her face with an out-turned palm. "The slats," she interrupted. "Excuse me, Mr. Severson. The slats." She jerked herself to her feet. Wadded tissues tumbled from her purse like confused sheep.

Has she used up her quota? Is it done so well that it's okay?

Discuss. I'm wondering what people think.


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